Rural Development Policy: Update

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:15 pm on 4th May 2021.

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Photo of Declan McAleer Declan McAleer Sinn Féin 3:15 pm, 4th May 2021

T5. Mr McAleer asked the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs for an update on the indicative timing for the publication of the new rural development policy. (AQT 1265/17-22)

Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP

That policy has been completed and is with me at the minute, so I imagine that, over the next couple of weeks, we will be ready to move it ahead and get it launched.

Photo of Declan McAleer Declan McAleer Sinn Féin

The Minister will be aware that the UK Shared Prosperity Fund was the main means of financing a new rural development policy, given that we have lost EU funding for it. Does the Minister have any update on the status of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and the likelihood of its being forthcoming?

Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP

I have no recent updates on the Shared Prosperity Fund. Unlike some, I welcome it. It is good that we are getting that investment. I will take support from the UK Government as I took it from the European Union, and we will work with them to maximise that support and dispense it fairly and equitably across rural communities where need is manifested.