Rural Development Funding
Rural development in Northern Ireland has benefited from a strong partnership with the European Union (EU). Since the earliest days of the 1994 - 1999 Rural Development Programme the EU has provided invaluable financial support. This continued during the 2001 - 2006 Programme through Structural Funds, including the Peace II Programme and the LEADER+ and INTERREG IIIA Initiatives.
The EU continues to provide support for rural development. Simplification of funding streams means that DARD will provide a new round of support through one programme, the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 (NIRDP), and one fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).