Rural Development Programme Evaluation

Closed 22 Apr 2022

Opened 29 Mar 2022


This is your opportunity to have your say on the delivery of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 in the Ards and North Down Borough Council area.  Ards and North Down Rural Partnership Ltd is the Local Action Group (LAG) which was set up in 2015 to manage this programme.

The role of the LAG involved issuing calls for applications, determining eligibility of applications and deciding which projects will be funded across the following schemes;

  1. Rural Business Investment Scheme - To support and encourage the development of non-agricultural activities in rural areas for all micro and small enterprises
  2. Rural Basic Services Scheme - To support the provision of improvements in social infrastructure that will provide access to basic services which are an integral part of and in line with the Council Community Plan and emerging priorities
  3. Village Renewal Scheme - To support the drafting and update of integrated village plans and also for the capital investment to implement actions identified in village plans
  4. Co-operation Scheme - To promote support for co-operation projects with other Local Action Groups which bring benefits to all areas

The Programme is now coming to a close and we are carrying out this evaluation to consider the achievements and look at lessons learned for future funding schemes.  

The Council and Ards and North Down Rural Partnership Ltd will process these survey findings and information in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 / General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) requirements.

Findings and data from this survey will be analysed by Council & Ards and North Down Rural Partnership Ltd and will be shared with DAERA as the Managing Authority for the Rural Development Programme. They will not be used for any other purpose and will be held securely and not held any longer than necessary.

For further information, our Privacy Statement can be viewed at


Why your views matter

The Strategic Aims of the Rural Development Strategy for Ards and North Down were as follows;

1. To increase economic activity and employment rates in the rural areas of Ards and North Down, through encouraging and supporting the creation and development of micro and small enterprises, including on-farm diversification into non-agricultural activities and private tourism provision

2. To improve and maintain the living conditions and welfare of rural dwellers through the provision of additional and better basic services.

3. To regenerate Ards and North Down villages and their surrounding areas by improving their economic prospects and quality of life.

4. To provide community based solutions to improved broadband service provision for those areas in receipt of less than 5Mbs broadband speed

In total, over 45 new jobs have been created to date; thousands of people have benefited from the various community groups and centres supported through the Basic Services Scheme; and from projects supported under our Village Renewal Scheme. 

77 individual projects have been funded during the course of the programme so far with total grant paid of just under £3.9m to date with a very wide range of projects being supported. 

Now it is time to take stock and look back at both the successes and also the challenges the programme has faced. This programme evaluation will give key stakeholders the opportunity to provide feedback which will be provided to DAERA to enable the learning to be used in future programmes.

This is your opportunity to have your say.





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