Tuesday, 5 October 2004
Dáil Eireann Debate
232. Mr. McCormack asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he will make a statement on the progress to date on the INTERREG IIIA Programme Ireland-Northern Ireland for rural initiatives. [22730/04]
Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Éamon Ó Cuív): My Department is a joint implementing Department with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Northern Ireland for the Rural Initiative Measure — Priority 1 Measure 4 — of the INTERREG Ireland-Northern Ireland Programme 2000-2006.
The aim of the rural initiative measure is to encourage rural businesses and communities to engage in developing the economic and social sustainability of the region and, to promote the development and expansion of cross-border rural businesses.
Three applications have been approved to date by the INTERREG IIIA steering committee with a total grant of over €3.9 million awarded from the measure. A further three applications are progressing through economic appraisal and when completed will be presented to the steering committee for final decision.
At this stage in the programme, it appears likely that there will be a need for a further call for applications to the measure. The full position will become clearer when all applications to date have been fully processed and decided upon by the INTERREG steering committee which will be later this year.
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