Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership held its first full Annual General Meeting on 21 November 2017 in St Columb’s Park House in Derry/Londonderry. Click below for copies of the following:
- The first Annual Report of Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership; and
- The AGM presentation which includes summary updates on the five funding schemes, finance, animation & communication as well as presentations for the following businesses awarded funding:
- Sayers Engineering – RBIS Capital Grant;
- City of Derry Equestrian Centre – RBIS Marketing Grant.
A key highlight of the AGM was marking its first £1 million allocated through the Rural Development Programme. The awards includes four grants through the Rural Business Investment Scheme to Lowry Construction Ltd in Castlederg, the Furniture Liquidator Ltd in Victoria Bridge, Supermix Ltd in Newtownstewart and Finn Valley Cottages in Clady. This brings the total to date allocated through three calls under this scheme up to £996,252 – supporting 20 businesses and the creation of 56.5 new jobs.
The Partnership has also made its first allocations of funding through the Rural Basic Services Scheme with 11 community groups receiving grants to complete feasibility studies. Two organisations are also the first to receive small capital grants under the scheme.
- Learmount Community Development Group has been awarded over £26,000 to create a Dementia Friendly Hub in Park village which will include, for example, a memory café as well as vital services to support families and carers of dementia sufferers.
- Gortilea Social Farm has been awarded over £32,000 to provide specialist equipment to deliver ‘hippotherapy’ services to children and young people with disabilities – enabling the provision of innovative therapy treatment using horses. This will be the first community hippotherapy centre in Northern Ireland.
Speaking at the AGM, the Chair of Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership Cllr Patricia Logue acknowledged the impact of this funding in the rural area.
“We are delighted to have awarded our first £1 million and to be now supporting 20 businesses to create nearly 57 new jobs – already meeting 83% of our job creation target up to 2020. These jobs have a positive knock-on effect on our wider local economy – particularly in a challenging economic climate”.
“We are also delighted to have made our first awards through the Rural Basic Services Scheme. These projects which will be a life blood for rural communities - supporting innovation in delivering absent or difficult to access services. I am particularly pleased that our first capital grants under this scheme are for such innovative projects – the first of their kind – and that they will provide vital services for people living with dementia and children with disabilities”.