25 April 2014

Village Renewal at Forefront of Rural Development


Over 50 delegates from Local Action Groups (LAGs) and Local and Central Government have attended a unique seminar to discuss models of Village Renewal and Development across rural Northern Ireland.

The seminar, held in the picturesque village of Killyleagh in Co. Down, was the culmination of a yearlong piece of work by the Village Renewal and Development Thematic Working Group and facilitated by the Rural Network for Northern Ireland. The working group, which launched a report of its work Village Renewal and Development Report and Case Studies on the day, was established in September 2009 to support LAGs in their work under the Village Renewal and Development measure of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013. This measure aims to regenerate rural villages into vibrant rural communities and to develop, promote and implement village regeneration actions. The group was comprised of LAG members drawn from all seven Council Clusters and had the specific remit of researching and sharing good practices in Village Renewal and Development and encourage their wider use. Under the Village Renewal and Development measure the 7 Axis 3 LAGs have responsibility for allocating approximately £12m in funding to village renewal projects across Northern Ireland The work of the group took place over seven sessions and incorporated a range of approaches including discussion papers, information sharing and guest speakers. Study visits were an integral element of the work of the group and were hosted in each Cluster area so participants experienced genuine grassroots development and gained insights into good local practices. During the concluding seminar delegates heard presentations from Tracey McNally of the Rural Network for Northern Ireland Download Rural Network presentation and Thematic Working Group Chair Bob Adams Download Chair Presentation as well as representatives from two of the other ‘good practice’ villages; Broughshane in Co. Antrim and Dromore in Co. Tyrone. Special guest speaker Catherine Corcoran, a Rural Development expert from Tipperary Institute, also discussed her work on Integrated Village Planning Download Integrated Village Planning Presentation On the day Catherine also shared some of her work in Community Engagement in Co. Offaly and in Community Planning in conjunction with Carnegie UK Download Community Engagement document Download Community Led Planning document Following the formal presentations delegates, guided by members of the Killyleagh Development Association (KDA), were taken on a detailed tour of Killyleagh; a village which has seen a huge amount of social, environmental and economic development since KDA and other groups in the town made their village development a priority more than 16 years ago. It is now hoped that the Local Action Group members will draw the learning from the past year back to their own areas and implement sustainable Village Renewal and Development projects across all of rural Northern Ireland. Download Event Press Release Hard copies of all materials including presentaions and the Village Renewal and Development Report and Case Studies are available by contacting the Rural Network for Northern Ireland info@ruralnetworkni.org.uk

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