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Information Sessions for New Derry and Strabane Rural Funding

22 February 2016

The new Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership, which has been allocated £7.54 million through the Rural Development Programme for Northern Ireland, is to host a series of information sessions to provide further details about funding available, with the programme then launching in March 2016.

The Rural Development Programme (RDP) funding, which will run until 2020, is being administered by Derry City and Strabane District Council on behalf of the Partnership. The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) has approved an interim strategy submitted by the Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership Local Action Group (LAG) which consists of 24 members - 11 councillors and 13 social partners.

Two RDP information sessions are being held as part of Council’s annual Enterprise Week taking place from 22nd-26th February.  This includes a half day session, ‘Accessing Business Finance’, which is taking place on Friday, 26th February, in the City Hotel from 10am-1pm. Other funders presenting include Invest NI, InterTradeIreland, Growing Start-ups as well as crowd funding.

The Partnership will also be in attendance at a ‘Meet The Funders’ Roadshow being held on Thursday, 25th February `from 4pm-6pm at Newbuildings Community Association. This drop-in event has been organised by Dennett Interchange and RAPID for the community and voluntary sector across the district.

Another two RDP information sessions will take place in the Strabane area during the week commencing Monday, 29th February.  These will include a session on Tuesday 1st March at 2.30pm in the Strabane offices of Derry City and Strabane District Council and on Wednesday 2nd March at 7pm at the Gateway Enterprise Complex in Castlederg.

Jim McColgan, Chair of Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership, explained: “The aim of these events is to publicise the approved interim strategy to the wider public and to maximise awareness of the programme as well as proposals for each of the four funding schemes. This is a good opportunity to find out what is eligible for funding and key changes since the previous programme.”

The first funding scheme to open will be the ‘Rural Business Investment Scheme’ and pre-funding workshops will take place later in March 2016 – attendance at one of these workshops will be mandatory for any potential applicants.

To book a place at an Enterprise Week event go to www.derrystrabane.com/EnterpriseWeek.

To book a place at the other information sessions or for further information on the upcoming pre-funding workshops, email [email protected] or telephone Hazel Best on 02871 253253 Ext. 6917.