£10m funding boost for Mid Ulster villages in jeopardy

Money for rural areas could be hit

Money for rural areas could be hit

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Fears have been expressed that a £10m funding boost destined for villages and rural areas in Mid Ulster could be lost due to Brexit.

The warnings were made at last week’s monthly meeting of the Mid Ulster Council during a bleak debate about the negative effects of leaving the EU.

Sinn Fein and SDLP councillors passed a motion recognising the democratic deficit created by the result of the EU referendum.

The motion, which was brought by Sinn Fein Councillor Ronan McGinley, stated that political leaders had to put the needs of all the people and the economy across the island of Ireland to the fore, and called on the executive office to articulate the will of the electorate here in the North who clearly voted to remain. Councillor McGinley outlined the immediate financial repercussions of the vote, which threatened the Single Farm Payments that make up 85 percent of local farmers’ incomes. He also said that rural development money would also be at risk.

“A total of £17.1m has went (sic) to Mid Ulster villages under rural development, creating 180 jobs and benefiting 42 local community groups. A further £10.1m is now under threat.”