Deadline looms for village grant scheme

COMMUNITY groups and other interested parties in villages across Fermanagh are being urged to apply for an innovative £1.25 million grant scheme, but they’ll have to be quick as the deadline closes at the end of this week. 
Those in the county’s rural communities have just days left to express their interest to participate in the Village Renewal Scheme, a programme which has a total of £1.25 million of capital funding for the district and where up to £150,000 could be available to renew, regenerate and develop their village. 
Projects to upgrade derelict sites, enhance shop fronts, make environmental improvements, or to improve walkways, play facilities, among other initiatives, could all receive a significant funding boost through the scheme. 
Administered by Fermanagh and Omagh Local Action Group, under the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, the deadline for applications is this Friday, December 16. 
Cllr Mary Garrity, chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council who is acting as lead applicant to the scheme, encouraged village communities to express their interest in the scheme.
“Villages in the Fermanagh and Omagh district are important social and economic hubs for many of our residents,” said Cllr Garrity. 
“The Council welcomes the opportunity to work in partnership with local communities to deliver actions and initiatives to renew and regenerate villages and improve the economic and social well being of residents through participation in the Village Renewal Scheme.”
Funding for the scheme comes under two strands. Strand one aims to support the role of villages as an economic and social hub for the community. Grants of up to £150,000 at 75 per-cent of the total project cost are available under this strand, for innovative initiatives such as bringing derelict and vacant sites and property into use, undertaking environmental improvements, enhancing shop fronts or conserving rural culture and heritage.
Grants of up to £50,000, again at 75 per-cent of the total project cost, are available through the second strand. Strand two aims to enhance the social, economic and environmental sustainability of villages by supporting projects that will develop or improve access to local amenities, such as playgrounds, nature trails and walkways. 
Completed Village Renewal Scheme Expression of Interest forms must be returned to Fermanagh and Omagh District Council no later than 12 noon, Friday 16 December 2016. Further information on the Village Renewal Scheme and Expression of Interest forms are available from Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s website, Alternatively, contact the Council’s rural regeneration officer on 0300 303 1777 or  by emailing  


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