24/01/2011

Hannahstown 'Villagers' Consult On Development

'Villagers' in part of west Belfast are to have a say on how their area is developed through a special consultation process to draft up a Village Plan.

Residents and stakeholders in Hannahstown will soon be able to contribute to upcoming 'workshop' sessions to develop a plan for Hannahstown

Under the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme, funding support is available for the development of rural villages. Within Belfast, the village of Hannahstown is the only village within the council boundary to be classed as rural and is therefore eligible for funding.

Supported by Belfast City Council, a workshop will take place in Hannahstown Community Centre on Monday 31 January (7.30pm) for the local community, businesses and stakeholders to come together.

They can then express their views on how Hannahstown can be developed whilst also identifying developmental projects in the area.

Following this workshop and ongoing consultation with the community, a Village Plan will then be created outlining the key projects aimed at developing the village infrastructure of Hannahstown as well as contributing to the sustainability of the village.

Once the Village Plan is completed, villages like Hannahstown will be able to apply, through a competitive process, to the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2007-2013, to part fund projects identified as part of the Village Plan.

Councillor Conor Maskey, Chairman of Belfast City Council's Development Committee, said: "This is a unique opportunity for the community of Hannahstown – its residents, businesses and stakeholders to come together to develop their village.

"I would urge as many as possible to attend the workshop in Hannahstown Community Centre and get their views known," he said, noting that the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 is part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and is managed by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

(BMcC/GK)

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