The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is delighted to present the draft Rural Policy Framework and look forward to hearing your views. This Framework has been developed collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders including the public, private, and voluntary and community sector. The Framework has provided an opportunity to review the approach to rural policy and what is needed to support rural communities in the context of the following main strategic drivers:
- The impact of COVID-19 on rural communities, in particular the need for flexibility to respond quickly to emerging needs;
- Green Growth including the need for access to nature whilst ensuring sustainability in a post COVID-19 era;
- Opportunities for new ways of working and funding post Priority 6 funding under EU Rural Development Programme;
- The priorities set out in the draft Programme for Government; and
- The New Decade, New Approach Deal.
The new Framework aims to create a sustainable rural community where people want to live, work and be active. The Framework focuses on five thematic pillars and associated priorities and will be a living document, flexible enough to respond to emerging rural issues as they happen such as the current global COVID-19 pandemic.
Based on the work to develop this framework it is envisaged that a Rural Business and Community Investment Programme will emerge from the Framework. Of course the wide range of challenges facing rural society are not for DAERA alone to address and we will work with other Government Departments, Statutory Bodies, Councils and the private and community/voluntary sectors to ensure that they continue to focus on addressing the needs of rural dwellers and businesses. We need to see more innovation in our rural businesses and greater use of the steadily improving broadband in rural areas.
It is hoped that the work completed to date resonates with rural communities and we look forward to hearing your views to help ensure that we support a sustainable rural Northern Ireland going forward.
We will host 7 virtual consultation events where you can obtain more information on the Framework. For more information on each event and how to register, please see key dates in the table below.
|Virtual Consultation Event||Consultation Event Date||How to Register|
|Overview of Rural Policy Framework for NI||Monday 19 July at 7pm||Presentation|
|strong>Thematic Pillar 1: Innovation & Entrepreneurship||Tuesday 27 July at 7pm||Presentation|
|Thematic Pillar 2: Sustainable Tourism||Wednesday 4 August at 7pm||Presentation|
|Thematic Pillar 3: Health and Wellbeing||Thursday 12 August at 7pm||Presentation|
|Thematic Pillar 4: Employment||Tuesday 17 August at 7pm||Presentation|
|Thematic Pillar 5: Connectivity||Wednesday 25 August at 7pm||Presentation|
|Recap of Rural Policy Framework for NI||Tuesday 31 August at 7pm||Presentation|
|NB: Registration for each event will open approximately 1 week before the event.|