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DAERA Encourages Eligible Groups to Apply For Smart Towns and Villages Funding Under New PEACEPLUS Programme

DAERA Encourages Eligible Groups to Apply For Smart Towns and Villages Funding Under New PEACEPLUS Programme

The Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is encouraging eligible organisations in Northern Ireland to apply to the new €30million Smart Towns and Villages investment area, under the PEACEPLUS programme.

This investment area is aimed at providing greater access to, awareness and use of telecommunications. An area-based approach will be adopted to the creation of Smart Towns and Villages, utilising a social innovation-led approach to maximise the potential of more citizens and communities accessing and utilising Information Communications Technology (ICT) to enhance social service delivery and economic development in target areas, particularly those of a rural nature.

A DAERA spokesperson commented: “This funding focussed on increasing accessibility to digital technology for low-income households and disadvantaged groups, including people with special needs. It will promote the socioeconomic inclusion of marginalised communities, and as such contribute to the creation of more resilient, vibrant and prosperous rural communities. By leveraging digital innovation, mentoring, and fostering development of social enterprises, we aim to empower these areas and unlock their full potential for sustainable social and economic development.

“DAERA is pleased to be partnering with the Department of Rural and Community Development in the Republic of Ireland and the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) in providing funding for this investment area under the programme.”

PEACEPLUS is a new European Union funding programme for the 2021-2027 EU period, designed to support peace and prosperity across Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland, building upon the work of the previous PEACE and INTERREG programmes.

The closing date for receipt of applications is 5pm on Thursday 14 March 2024.

Full details on who is eligible to apply and how to apply for funding under this investment area are available on the Special EU Programmes Body website.

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