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European programmes to deliver millions for rural and coastal Wales, says Rebecca Evans

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

Deputy Minister for Farming and Food, Rebecca Evans will today announce several new support mechanisms for Welsh farmers, foresters, and fishers providing access to millions of pounds of European funding.
Thursday 11 February 2016

The Minister will be at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea for the official start-of-term event of two European programmes, the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 (WGRC) and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund 2014 – 2020 (EMFF).

The Deputy Minister will say,

“UK membership of the EU is vital for Wales. 200,000 jobs depend on our access to the Single Market and the distinct benefits this provides in facilitating trade.

“The European Commission and the Welsh Government have worked hard to design programmes that meet both our needs. That spirit of co-operation and partnership must now be taken forward in the schemes and interventions that will be delivered through the programmes.  

“Transformational change is our aim. Because of this we have taken a fresh approach to the new programme. In the WGRC we have chosen to place a high focus on knowledge transfer and innovation, because this is what will drive transformational change. It is broader than before, and more ambitious.  It now includes food and forestry. It works with other skills and training provision to avoid gaps and overlaps.”

During the event, the Deputy Minister will announce she is making the following schemes available within the next month:

  • The launch of the Sustainable Management Scheme to support collaborative landscape scale projects to deliver actions that improve our natural resources and delivers real benefits to farms, rural businesses and local communities.
  • A further Expression of Interest (EOI) window for the Food Business Investment scheme worth £14m to open on 29th February.
  • A second window for the Sustainable Production Grant, with a budget of £6m, three times the size of first window.
  • Another EOI window for the Rural Community Development fund, which aims to tackle poverty in rural communities, worth £4m.
  • A further £2.3m available for the Glastir Woodland Creation scheme as well as another £1m for Glastir Woodland Restoration, to help the forestry sector meet the challenge of Phytophthora Ramorum disease in larch.
  • The Timber Business Investment Scheme will also open later this month, to support proposals to encourage both active woodland management and increased value of outputs.  

The Minister added:

“The Welsh Government Rural Communities scheme supports a wide range of investments designed to increase the sustainability and resilience of our natural environment, land-based sector, food businesses and communities.

“More than £400 million of Welsh Government funding has been allocated to this programme over its lifetime. We have made good progress on this and many WGRC schemes have already opened, despite us only receiving EU approval some seven months ago, making more than £200m available primarily to farmers and foresters in Wales.

“We are also supporting the fishing and aquaculture industries which make an important contribution to Welsh coastal communities. The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, worth nearly 15 million euros to the Welsh economy, plus a share of up to 5 million euros for data collection, is designed to drive the sustainable development of our fisheries and aquaculture businesses, helping industry to adjust to the reformed Common Fisheries Policy and to provide support to Government and partners to meet our enforcement and data collection requirements. There will be more details on this opening over the coming weeks.  

“These programmes have been developed to focus on jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness - in Wales and for Wales. I hope you will all continue to help us shape the WGRC and EMFF for today and the future.”

 

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Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020

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Environment and countryside 11 February 2016 Climate change Farming and countryside Programme for Government - Rural Communities Programme for Government - Sustainability Mid Wales North Wales South East Wales South West Wales
 
 

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