Brexit 'must not' harm rural funding

Councillor calls on government to support RDP

Brexit 'must not' harm rural funding

Glamping pods on Rathlin Island, installed with RDP assistance.

Peter Winter

Reporter:

Peter Winter

Email:

peter.winter@thechronicle.uk.com

EU funding that has helped dozens of rural businesses and communities across Causeway Coast and Glens must be replaced after Brexit.

That's the view of Councillor Richard Holmes, chairman of the group that oversees the local Rural Development Programme.

Over £7m of grants will have been allocated when the current programme, which runs from 2014 to 2020, closes.

It's estimated that close to 150 jobs will have been created in 40 new and existing small businesses while communities have  benefited through grants to charities and support groups.

The fund has also paid for 22 village development plans which residents are now implementing, with help from further  RDP grants. 

“The Rural Development Fund has been a lifeline to many rural businesses supporting capital investment and employment growth for many small rural businesses,” said Councillor Holmes, who is calling on government to ensure sufficient cash is available in a post Brexit world.

*Full story in this week's Chronicle*

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