Council preparing strategy for future EU funding applications

Donegal County Council is preparing to make its pitch for future interreg and EU Peace funding programmes, with members told this week that the council's own EU Policy and Funding Unit has become a crucial element of the ongoing bid to maximise funding.

Councillors have been told that the authpority will be making a submission in its own right, as well as being involved in a number of joint submissions.

The council's Director of Community, Culture and Planning Services Michael Heaney told members this week that in its applications and submissions, the council will be concentrating on a number of key goals identified in its integrated strategy.

They are in the areas of enterprise and skills, tourism and natural resources, the Green economy, access to services, culture as a resource and the Donegal brand.

That strategy was developed in conjunction with the County Development Board, and mention of the board prompted some disquiet from the floor when Cllr Barry O'Neill claimed the funding secured through the board seemed to be concentrated on Letterkenny, and asking why councillors were not consulted.

He questioned why theatres and sports organisations in South Donegal were not getting such funding.

Development Board Chair Cllr Dessie Larkin interjected, saying these grants were as a result of newspaper advertisements, and anyone can apply.

Michael Heaney concluded that the council will work alone, and in partnership with others, to maximise the benefit to the whole of the county, and the special EU Unit is crucial in allowing that to happen........

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