New measures will offer a great funding opportunity to the rural community

NEW measures to help the rural community start next month.

SOAR’s vital Village Renewal Measure 3.5 and Measure 3.2 are opening this September for all villages across Craigavon keen on securing funding to develop their local area, and local rural businesses who want to grow and develop new customers and new markets.

SOAR delivers funding from the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme in partnership with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to projects relating to farm diversification, growing rural businesses, encouraging tourism, developing new rural community services and telling the cultural heritage story.

The Village Renewal and Development Measure aims to enable and encourage local residents of villages and surrounding areas to develop projects identified in the recent community planning process. Ideas could include developing the history and heritage of the village, developing/improving play and recreation facilities, encouraging involvement of young people in the community and environmental improvement work.

To make an application, the village must have in place a village plan and the funding must be in relation to recommendations identified within the plan for example, if applying for a new community centre – this must be a recommendation within the plan.

Councillor George Savage and SOAR’s Chair Miceal McCoy stated: “We are delighted to be able to offer this fantastic funding opportunity to rural villages.

“We hope to see exciting schemes and projects developed in villages to make them vibrant places to live.”

SOAR is also planning to open Measure 3.2 for rural small businesses. This funding offers opportunities for businesses to develop and grow new rural jobs.

Both measures will open on September 3 and close on November 23.

Anyone who needs further information can contact the local SOAR office or visit their website www.soarni.org or on Facebook www.facebook.com/SOAR (Southern Organisation for Action in Rural Areas).