Save Rural Affairs Programming!

Purple outline of Northern Ireland with NIRWN written in bold purple letters

Urgent Action Needed on DAERA Funding Cuts

The NI Budgetary Outlook 2018-20 has proposed cutting DAERA funding for Rural Community Development. The NI Budgetary Outlook 2018-20 was published by the Department of Finance and sets out the broad issues that should inform any incoming Executive’s decisions on a budget for 2018-19 and 2019-20. The paper presents a range of revenue raising options and proposes a range of cuts across most government departments.  In the absence of a functioning Executive the Department have published this paper for public consultation. The consultation will close for comment on 26 January 2018 and it is important you contribute your views to the consultation. Click on this link NI Budgetary Outlook 2018-2020 to take you to the full document and to see the details of how to respond.

The 3 scenarios set out for DAERA all propose the complete cessation of all Rural Affairs Programming beginning April 2018.  In real terms this would mean no dedicated support for rural women in NI.  NIRWN would close on March 31st.  In addition our wider rural infrastructure of: Rural Community Network; Rural Support Networks; Rural Development Council and Rural Support would cease to be funded to deliver Rural Affairs Programmes.

NIRWN will be responding on behalf of our members and you can click here to download a letter template that you/your group can use to respondThe email address for responses is:

The paper stresses that no decisions have been taken as to which income generation measures or funding cuts should happen, those are decisions for an incoming Executive. The paper doesn’t make any comment on the approach if no Executive is in place.

It is vitally important that rural women, rural citizens and stakeholder organisations respond to this consultation to oppose these cuts and argue for the need to retain the rural community development infrastructure; we invite you to use and share the attached template.  We would appreciate being copied in on any letters emailed.  The email address for responses is:

If I can provide any further information or support to you on this matter please come back to me.


Louise Coyle

Policy Officer


13A Ballysaggart Business Complex

8 Beechvalley Way


BT70 1BS

T: 028 87753389