NORTHERN IRELAND HOST FIRST UK NETWORK
04 March 2010
Programme delivery and policy makers from across the UK will gather in Belfast later this month at the first UK National Rural Network (UK NRN) Conference to address rural development in practice and to share learning in delivering the current round of Rural Development Programmes.
It will feature a range of speakers from the various Rural Networks across Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland as well as representatives from the European Network for Rural Development.
Spokesperson for the Rural Network for Northern Ireland, Martin McDonald Chief Executive of the RDC, hailed the event as significant. Speaking ahead of the event, Martin said, “The 4 Rural Development Programmes of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are worth in excess of £6.7 billion to the UK rural economy between now and 2013. The Northern Ireland pot alone is worth in excess of £500 million. This is a huge, huge investment and will contribute to the many aspects of rural development from food and farming, the environment and countryside to improving the quality of life through measures focusing on rural tourism, business creation & development, services, heritage and village renewal. It represents the first integrated single rural fund programme in the UK and offers a variety of opportunities and measures in support of rural development. This conference is designed to bring together the key delivery stakeholders of these Rural Development Programmes to enable the sharing and networking of practice, with the ultimate objective of helping to ensure that the programmes can make a real and tangible difference to rural life and rural people.”