Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s European Union Funding event was held at Council’s Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre on Friday 26th June.
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Michelle Knight-McQuillan, invited Members of the European Parliament to engage with elected members and staff to discuss opportunities under the new EU Structural Funds for the period 2014-2020.
Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens, Councillor Michelle Knight-McQuillan welcomed attendees from across the province by stating, “There are huge opportunities for Councils on European matters.
“The goal for the new round of EU funds is clear: To boost jobs and growth and create a better quality of life in Europe.
“In Causeway Coast and Glens our Corporate Mission is to create a better quality of life for all. It is at the heart of everything we do and Europe can support us in our endeavours to achieve this”.
Laura Leonard, EU and International Relations Manager at Belfast City Council, discussed the achievements of Belfast City Council in successfully receiving funding from Europe. Laura particularly headlined the £30million that Belfast City Council drew down from Europe in the 2003 to 2013 programming period.
Supported by Martina Anderson MEP and attended by Jim Nicholson MEP and Diane Dodds MEP who both talked about the new programming period and the funds that are available.
Diane Dodds MEP outlined the opportunities available and stressed the importance of Councils proactively engaging with the institutions in Europe. She added that it was as a direct result of such proactive engagement and discussions out in Europe that Northern Ireland had been declared as an entrepreneurial region.
Jim Nicholson MEP stressed the importance of developing relations with people who have influence in Brussels, adding that as a region we need to be more proactive and learn from other regions who have had success in applying for funding. Jim Nicholson also extended an invitation to Council Chief Executives to go to Brussels and meet with these key influencers.
The event was jointly facilitated by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and the Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA).