Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill today announced the first all-Ireland project to be approved under the Rural Development Program.
The Village Links Project brings together the North Eastern Region (NER) Local Action Group and Waterford Local Action Group in the south. Five villages from each area will be directly involved in linkages and co-operative actions with an emphasis on young people, sustainability, tourism potential and joint learning.
Minister O’Neill said: “This is the first north-south project to be undertaken in the current Rural Development Program and I know that it will have substantial social and economic benefits for the co-operating areas. It will also strengthen links and understanding between participation villages and villagers. Indeed, on a wider rural development front, it will add to the range of rural development tools available to LAGs across the European Union.”
From the North East Region, the villages of Broughshane, Kilrea, Bushmills . Ballycarry and Loughgiel will engage with the Waterford villages of Passage East, Tallow, Cappoquin, Lismore and Dunhill.
The project will identify best practice actions within each of the villages and through bespoke seminars and workshops focus on the key issues identified in tourism, renewables, economic development, community resources and sustainability.