Rural Development Be Part of the Local Action

27 October 2014

PLEASE NOTE - Registration closed on December 19th 2014

Rural dwellers across Northern Ireland are being given the opportunity to be part of a local action movement designed to bring about positive change in their local areas.

Under the new Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 a budget of £70 million has been allocated to assist with the improvement of the local rural economy, job creation and tackling poverty. 

However, for this to be truly effective it must be delivered under the guidance and direction of local people who know at first hand the challenges, desires and needs of their local areas. 

This is known as the LEADER approach, an EU wide initiative that will give local people a real opportunity to get involved and have their say in the delivery of a local development strategy.

NOW is your chance to get involved as the process of establishing new local action groups, more widely known as LAGs, gets underway.  There are two key opportunities to get involved.    

In the first instance rural dwellers are invited to become a LAG Member.  Membership of each LAG will be unlimited and open to anyone aged 18 or over interested in improving their local area and community.  

LAG Membership is not a demanding role but offers local people a real chance to engage in the development of their local area and receive information on the programme.  Importantly, it also allows local people to appoint representation to a LAG Board that will take responsibility for the delivery of the programme in agreed LAG areas.

For those wishing to contribute more to the development of their local area, LAG Members will also be able to engage in working groups, networking or cooperation activities.

The second opportunity, once you have become a LAG Member, is to consider taking a position on the LAG Board. 

Each LAG will have its own Board accountable to its members.  The Board is the decision making body of each partnership and will be responsible for agreeing the operations of the LAG such as opening calls for applications, assessing applications and taking decisions on which projects to support.

Together, each LAG and its Board will be the driving force of change in rural areas across Northern Ireland. They will be the means through which local people can shape, define and guide their rural areas into becoming wealth creators and providers of social and economic opportunities through job creation, business development, village renewal and service provision.

For this reason, it is vital that the facilitation stage of this initiative receives as much support as possible and a series of information and recruitment meetings will be held across Northern Ireland to help make positive change a reality. 

Details of all the LAG formation meetings will be available at: www.ruralnetworkni.org.uk

Don’t leave rural development to chance, come along, get involved and be part of the local action and make the difference your rural area deserves.