European approval for new Wales RDP
Deputy Minister for Farming and Food, Rebecca Evans yesterday welcomed news that the European Commission has formally approved Wales’s new Rural Development Programme (RDP).
The formal adoption of the Programme gives Welsh Government the green light for detailed planning for work to increase the sustainability and resilience of our natural environment, our farms, food and other rural businesses, and our rural communities.
Through the previous Rural Development Plan (2007-2013), we showed how to make the most through investing in our rural communities, and all they have to offer their residents, through a huge variety of projects.
The Deputy Minister said the new RDP will be even more innovative, adaptable and integrated in order to ensure maximum value is secured for rural Wales from the Programme's joint EU/Welsh Government-funded investments.
The Deputy Minister said yesterday:
“Today’s formal approval means we can start to implement our ambitious plans for the new RDP. We will now progress with the final detailed planning for individual schemes that will benefit communities and the economy right across Wales.
“This provides us with a fantastic opportunity to support rural Wales and the management of our natural resources through encouraging sustainable management of our land, the development of our farm and other rural business, and improving our environment. This Programme further demonstrates the benefits of our EU membership, and also the commitment of Welsh Government to our rural areas through some £400 million in co-funding for the RDP.
“I will provide further information on the detail of schemes within the overall Programme, but today's announcement is further recognition of the strength of our plans for rural Wales.”
The Wales Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 is a seven-year European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) programme co-funded by the European Union and Welsh Government. The total budget for the Wales 2014-2020 RDP, based on 2014 exchange prices, is £957m across the programme period, compared to £847m in the 2007-2013 RDP.
The Welsh Government consulted extensively with our stakeholders to inform the development of the new RDP and we submitted our application to the Commission back in July last year. On May 8th we received a ‘letter of comfort’ from the Commission indicating that formal approval was imminent.
Yesterday’s announcement allows us to complete the detailed planning of a number of new schemes and initiatives within the RDP. Local approval for the Programme's operating framework can also now be sought from the All-Wales Programme Monitoring Committee that provides oversight for all of the major EU funding streams coming into Wales. Once this detailed work is undertaken Ministers will officially launch the new RDP in the Autumn.
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