20 April 2014

Publication encourages Equine Sector to avail of RDP funding


The Equine Council for Northern Ireland and the Rural Network for Northern Ireland (managed by the Rural Development Council) have jointly published an information booklet titled ‘Opportunities for the Equine Sector in Northern Ireland'. 

The booklet aims to provide information to the equine sector on applying to the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme for funding. 

Giving her support to the publication of this booklet Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Michelle O’Neill commented: “I support this collaborative publication led by the Equine Council.  The equine sector is of great importance to the rural economy and I look forward to its continued development with the assistance of Rural Development Programme.”

Tony McCusker, Chairman of the Equine Council for Northern Ireland, added “The equine industry makes a valuable contribution to the Northern Irish economy at all levels and provides much needed employment in rural areas. In addition to the direct financial contribution associated with the traditional areas of horse breeding, production and sales; many ancillary businesses have grown and developed to support these core activities. This network of individuals and businesses enhances the fabric of rural life and is constantly evolving and developing.  We are keen to encourage the development of equine facilities and encourage business opportunities throughout the province.  This publication is the first step in a process to ensure that the sector receives the support it requires.  ECNI is also committed to representing the equine sector in future rural development plans.”

The booklet is now available to download from the Equine Council’s website at www.equinecouncilni.com or the Rural Network for Northern Ireland website www.ruralnetworkni.org.uk.  Applications to the Rural Development Programme are made by contacting your Local Action Group or relevant delivery agent who will provide full advice and assistance with applications.  Opening and closing dates for the programme are available from each Local Action Group and delivery agent.  Full contact details of all those involved are provided in the booklet.

[Pictured are Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill at the launch of the information booklet along with (L-R) Teresa Canavan (Deputy Chief Executive of the Rural Development Council);  Tony McCusker (Chairman of ECNI) and Debbie Black (ECNI Development Officer).]

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