Rural funding boost delight

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KILREA and Articlave will benefit to the tune of £345,000 for village renewal and environmental improvements under European Programmes administrated by the North East Region Rural Development Programme.

Kilrea SDLP councillor Roisin Loftus has welcomed the agreement of Coleraine Borough Council to proceed with the projects which she believes will breathe new life into both areas.

She said: “I am looking forward to a new era when our towns and villages will have the funding to bring forward regeneration programmes which will support our local businesses and sustain our rural population.

“This most recent announcement will bring to £500,000 the total funding to date for Kilrea when we put together the additional funding for cross-border INTERREG schemes relating to the River Bann at Kilrea.

“I wish to record my thanks to the Coleraine Borough Council’s Economic Development Department who secured the European Funding under various EU measures. I was delighted to work with them and COLLAGE who supported the projects through what was at times a difficult process.

“For many years the SDLP has argued that the River Bann has the potential to be a great boost to the town of Kilrea in the same way as other rivers throughout the island of Ireland have breathed new life into many towns located close to them.

“The current economic recession hopefully won’t last for ever and we need to have the infrastructures in place to avail of new opportunities in leisure and tourism when they happen again.

“It is only when we are all pulling in the same direction that we achieve success. This week Roads Service resurfaced the Diamond and Church Street area of Kilrea and we are grateful to Roads Service for carrying this work out during the night causing the minimum of disruption to the travelling public.

“The end result is excellent and will enhance the environmental work which will be carried out under the above schemes.”

Sinn Fein councillor, Ciaran Archibald, also commented: “It is thanks to the hard work put in by community workers and Council officials in preparing these applications that we now have access to the funds to upgrade services and amenities in the local area. It will be great to see this work commencing and I look forward to local people having access and making use of these new facilities.”