West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Mc Aleer welcomes proposals for rural transportation and capital grant schemes

Published: 25 February, 2015

West Tyrone MLA Declan Mc Aleer has welcomed the decision by DARD Minister Michelle O Neill to introduce a capital grants and transportation scheme for rural community organisations.

"This news will be warmly greeted by rural groups who constantly face the challenge of raising funds to deliver their services. The proposed capital scheme will offer grants of up to £1500 to enable groups to purchase necessary equipment and engage in minor repair work to their premises.

"The second scheme that the Minister is proposing will enable rural groups either acting alone or as a consortium to purchase their own minibus.

"Many parts of the country are extremely isolated and not serviced by public transport. This prohibits groups from travelling outside their local area to access services and activities and compounds the sense of isolation, particularly among vulnerable groups such as the elderly and people with disabilities.

"Whilst details of the schemes have yet to be finalised, the Minister has indicated that she hopes to have them open for application during the summer. This news will undoubtedly be welcomed by rural groups, particularly in the current financial climate".