A core principle of the approach to broader rural development in Northern Ireland has been and continues to be that communities should be involved in the design and delivery of projects and programmes to improve their quality of life through social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas.

SOAR (ABC) will support the rural community in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area by providing support through a LEADER approach under the following Schemes listed below. The actual focus and balance of the expenditure of funding across the Measures has been on the basis of our locally-developed, needs-based strategy.

A. Rural Business Investment Scheme – Budget £3.18m

Increase economic activity and employment rates in the wider rural economy through encouraging and supporting the creation and development of micro and small enterprises in the broader rural economy including on-farm diversification into non-agricultural activities and private tourism provision;

B. Rural Basic Services Scheme – Budget £1.75m

Improve and maintain the living conditions and welfare of rural dwellers through the provision of more and better basic services;

C. Village Renewal Scheme – Budget £0.96m

Regenerate villages and their surrounding areas by improving their economic prospects and the quality of life and ..

D. Rural Broadband Scheme – Budget £0.23m

Provide community based solutions to broadband black spots in rural areas 

A budget of £0.46m will also be earmarked for Co-operation Projects.

Breakdown of Budget

Rural Business Invest Scheme

Rural Basic Services Scheme

Village Renewal Scheme

Rural Broadband Scheme