Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has undertaken a £4m regeneration of seven villages within the District. The villages of Annalong, Ballyhornan, Dundrum, Hilltown, Killyleagh, Meigh and Newtownhamilton have benefited through Environmental Improvement (EI) schemes following awards of almost £3m from the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and European Union (EU), and delivered by Mourne, Gullion and Lecale Rural Development Partnership (MGL).
The EI schemes have significantly improved the physical infrastructure of these villages across the rural areas of the district following considerable investment by both NMDDC and the Rural Development Programme. Extensive consultation with the local community through the village planning process, resulted in a range of improvements being identified and completed to include granite and tactile paving, anti-slip surfaces, kerb trims, tree planting and LED street lighting all of which are in keeping with village settings.
MGL has been responsible for the delivery of Rural Development funding since 2016 with projects supported across the different schemes to include Village Renewal, Rural Business Investment, Rural Basic Services, and Cooperation; all of which have had significant impacts on rural dwellers across the district.
Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister, Edwin Poots said, “These Environmental Improvement Schemes represent an investment of almost £3 million from DAERA’s Rural Development Programme which has greatly improved the infrastructure of these villages through a range of works, benefiting all those living in these rural areas. I am delighted that despite the many challenges brought about by COVID-19, these projects, like many others throughout the Newry, Mourne and Down District area, have been completed. I want to thank all those involved for their hard work and dedication in bringing these to fruition.”
Newry, Mourne and Down District Chairperson, Councillor Cathy Mason said, “The village renewal initiatives have been extremely successful across our rural settlements, and it is a credit to the Council, DAERA, the European Union and the Local Action Group in their partnership approach to ensure such projects have been completed to such a high standard.”
Mourne, Gullion and Lecale Rural Development Partnership Chairperson, Councillor Roisin Mulgrew said, “I am delighted to see the completion of these projects which have availed of Rural Development funding, provided by DAERA and the European Union. The volunteers involved in the Local Action Group continue to work tirelessly to ensure local decisions bring high quality projects such as this to fruition.”