About Us

Northern Ireland Rural Development
Programme 2014-2020

The European Commission has agreed funding of up to £623million for the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.

The six EU priorities for rural development:
• knowledge transfer and innovation in agriculture, forestry and rural areas,
which is described as a cross-cutting or horizontal priority
• farm competitiveness and risk management
• food chain organisation
• restoring and enhancing ecosystems
• promoting resource efficiency
• social inclusion, poverty reduction and rural economic development

The delivery of LEADER elements of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 will be led by Rural Partner Ards and North Down as the agreed Local Action Group for the area. The Partnership recently developed a Interim Rural Development Strategy which provides the framework for the allocation of £3.15million in project funding within the rural area through the following schemes:
• Rural Business Investment Scheme
• Rural Basic Services Scheme
• Rural Broadband Scheme
• Village Renewal Scheme
• LEADER Co-operation Scheme

For more information go to our funding page.


Rural Partners Ards and North Down Population Area Map
Ards and North Down Borough has a rural population of 30,790 (19.6%) and consists of 9 main rural settlements and 25 smaller settlements. Eligible areas are those with a population of 5,000 or less. The main towns of Newtownards, Bangor, Hollywood, Donaghadee & Comber are ineligible.