Welcome and Introduction

Welcome to the Rural Needs section of the DAERA website.

The purpose of the Rural Needs section is to provide Public Authorities with information on their duties under the Rural Needs Act (NI) 2016 and to provide information on the guidance, advice and support available to Public Authorities to help them comply with their duties under the Act.

The Rural Needs Act (NI) 2016

The Rural Needs Act (NI) 2016 came into operation for Government Departments and District Councils on 1 June 2017 and for the other Public Authorities listed on the Schedule to the Act on 1 June 2018. The Act imposes a duty on Public Authorities to have due regard to rural needs when carrying out certain activities and a duty to compile information on the exercise of the duties.

For a copy of the Act 2016 click here.

For background information on the Act click here.

For more information on the duties on Public Authorities under the Act click here.

For a list of Public Authorities subject to the Act click here

Guidance on the Rural Needs Act (NI) 2016

DAERA has produced guidance on the Rural Needs Act (NI) 2016 for Public Authorities which includes guidance on the duties on Public Authorities, guidance on undertaking a Rural Needs Impact Assessment and guidance on the monitoring and reporting requirements under the Act. Public Authorities are recommended to follow the guidance when undertaking activities which fall within the scope of Section 1(1) of the Act.

For a copy of A Guide to the Rural Needs Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 for Public Authorities (Revised) click here.

For copies of the Templates provided at Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 of the guidance click here.

Advice for Public Authorities

A range of advice is available to Public Authorities to assist them in complying with the duties under the Rural Needs Act (NI) 2016.

For information on the advice available to Public Authorities click here.

Training and Support for Public Authorities

DAERA provides a range of training and other support for Public Authorities including specific training for Rural Needs Co-ordinators.

For information on the training and support available for Public Authorities click here.

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