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CASE STUDY: Village Links

Category:Cooperation
County:Cooperation
Location:North East Northern Ireland and Waterford Ireland
Funding:£55,375
Contact Name:Andrew McAlister

Project Summary

Village Links is an example of a co-operation project which was supported under the previous NI Rural Development Programme 2007-2013.  The Lead LAG in Northern Ireland was the North East Region LAG which partnered with Waterford LEADER Partnership.  The overall aim was to look at approaches to making villages and groups within those villages sustainable. This project thus tested initiatives which could contribute to creating vibrant villages and thriving community groups. It piloted specific projects and ensured that there was widespread dissemination of the outcomes and learning. 

Activities

The overall aim was to look at approaches to making villages and groups within those villages sustainable. This project thus tested initiatives which could contribute to creating vibrant villages and thriving community groups. It piloted specific projects and ensured that there was widespread dissemination of the outcomes and learning.

It highlighted elements of Best Practice and will help inform future projects and programmes.

The main actions involved in this programme were:

• Village Actions

• Seminars/Workshops

• Best Practice visits

• Village Conference

• Evaluation Document

 

The project achievements included:  

• Work with 5/6 individual villages in each jurisdiction and look at the linkages on an individual and group basis.  

• To undertake actions in the villages – this would be accompanied by specific funding assistance for each participating village

• 6 Seminars/workshops on cross border basis on Village Renewal themes 

• Conference on Village Renewal on cross border basis 

• Guide to Village Renewal and sustainability 

• 4 Best Practice visits and other steering group meetings

• Evaluation 

Benefits

Overall, this project, for a cost in both areas of £110,000, has delivered 11 community projects with a value including match funding of over £120,000, a conference attended by 100 delegates from the community and statutory sectors and including 2 Finnish delegates, 6 workshops on subjects agreed by the participating villages, 4 study visits to Waterford and the North East with nearly 100 people participating and a series of partnerships, friendships and contacts were also made. It has also built community capacity, strengthened the 2 LAGs and involved a whole range of other organisations in rural development. It also developed council and tourism links between the 2 areas with coach holidays from NI to Waterford.   It also added value and complemented the work of the LAG across some of its other schemes.