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Second funding round for rural groups now openSecond funding round for rural groups now open

30 January 2018

Rural groups are being invited to attend a series of workshops taking place next week to assist in them accessing the second round of support through the Rural Basic Services Scheme.

The scheme is part of the NI Rural Development Programme 2014-20 which is part-funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and the EU. The fund is administered by Council on behalf of the Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership, one of ten Local Action Groups working across NI.

The scheme aims to deliver capital funding to support innovative ways of delivering multiple services in rural areas, and is targeted at the community and voluntary sector, strategic public bodies, local council or partnerships.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh, said it was a great opportunity for organisations to explore new ways of working together to deliver more effective services.

“The NI Rural Development Programme offers rural interest groups the support they need to enhance their services in new and innovative ways. This second round of funding is geared towards projects which involve a group of partners and targets areas of greatest need in rural areas. I would really encourage groups to avail of the opportunity of funding at this stage, as this stream may not be made available again. Why not come along and see if your project is eligible.”

Applicants must be part of a cluster with at least two other partners and must contribute to the improvement of Health and Wellbeing in rural areas. The project must also include at least one absent or difficult to access service, to ensure areas of greatest need are addressed. 

Organisations can access Small Grants of £10,000 to £50,000 and Technical Support of £500 to £5,000 for feasibility studies or professional fees for large grants. Large grant support of up to £250,000 will follow later in 2018. Projects which do not require Technical Support at this stage for a large grant, still require attendance at a workshop and the completion of an Expression of Interest form to be considered in this call. 

Chair of Derry & Strabane Rural Partnership, William Lamrock, said: “I would really encourage community groups and other rural support organisations to come along to the workshops and consider the benefits of partnership working within rural communities.

“We are particularly keen to encourage applications from areas that have submitted low numbers to date, in particular, from the Derg and Sperrin District Electoral Areas. Groups should also note that this may be the last call under this scheme subject to the availability of funding.”

To book a place at one of the workshops and receive a copy of the Expression of Interest form please email [email protected] or phone Derry City and Strabane District Council on 02871 253253 x 6917. Please note that anyone attending the workshop on behalf of their group or organisation must be an authorised signatory i.e. authorised to sign a letter of offer if approved, though anyone is else welcome. Further information also available at www.derrystrabane.com/rural