Fermanagh and Omagh LAG (Local Action Group)

The Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014 –2020 (NIRDP) is part-funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and the European Union (EU).

Fermanagh and Omagh Local Action Group (FOLAG) was established in 2015 to deliver the LEADER elements (Priority 6) of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme (RDP). It is a partnership involving representation from the local Council, rural stakeholders and individuals from the local rural communities. It is one of ten LAGs (Local Action Groups) across Northern Ireland.

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council deliver administrative support services to the FOLAG to enable it to deliver the programme which consists of the following four schemes.

· Rural Business Investment Scheme

· Rural Basic Services

· Village Renewal

· Rural Co-operation

The FOLAG Board

The FOLAG Board is the decision-making body responsible for the allocation of funding to projects which meets on a monthly basis. It was established as a company limited by guarantee and is made up of 11 Elected Members (Councillors) and 13 Social Partners (from community/ voluntary sector, farming sector and business).

The positions of Chair and Vice Chair rotate annually between a Social Partner and Elected Member.

The 2021/2022 Chairperson is Mr Stephen Huggett, and Vice Chair is Councillor Siobhán Currie. Click HERE for a list of the current Board members.

The Work of FOLAG

The FOLAG have administered the delivery of the Rural Business Invest Scheme (RBIS), Rural Basis Services (RBS), Village Renewal Schemes and Rural Co-operation and have provided grant assistance to projects, creating jobs and enhancing rural communities.

Please note applications to the schemes have now closed. If you would like to be added to the Rural Development Programme database to received details of any future funding opportunities please contact the Rural Development Programme Administration Unit on 028 8225 0202.


Rural Business Investment Scheme (RBIS)

The primary objective of the Rural Business Investment Scheme (RBIS) was to create new jobs – with funding targeted at micro, small and social enterprises engaged in non-agricultural activities. The level of funding was dependent on the businesses’ potential for growth in the short to medium term.

The scheme was primarily for capital grants (e.g. equipment, construction) with a small level of resource funding available (e.g. marketing, training).

To date the FOLAG has allocated grant payments of £3,070,621 supporting 99 business projects, which have created 103 new jobs in the rural community.


Rural Basic Services Scheme (RBS)

The Rural Basic Services Scheme provided capital support investments which delivered access to basic services and improvements in social infrastructure (including activities to reduce isolation and/or poverty) to improve the welfare and access to basic services of those living in rural areas and which are part of and in line with the Council Community Plan and emerging priorities. Eligible applicants for the scheme included the community/voluntary/public sectors.

Projects related to the main theme of Innovative Service Delivery, including the creation of health hubs to deliver multiple services or community hubs, where capital infrastructure was put in place to allow a number of services to be delivered to the community.

The scheme provided the following grants:

· Technical Support (£500 to £5,000) for feasibility studies/professional fees;

· Small Grants (£10,000 to £50,000) for small-scale capital works or equipment;

· Large Grants (£50,000 to £250,000) for larger capital works/projects.

FOLAG to date has allocated grant payments totalling £2,081,108.00, to projects improving the welfare and access to basic services to those living in the rural areas that participated on the Rural Basic Services Scheme.


Village Renewal Scheme

The Village Renewal scheme supports projects which contribute to the vibrancy of a village through improving the environment, tackling dereliction, conserving heritage or improving its image. Eligible applicants for this scheme were Fermanagh & Omagh District Council in partnership with the community.

The selection of settlements for capital support was based on population, deprivation, dereliction and proximity to services, with projects located across the five rural district electoral areas.

FOLAG to date have allocated grant payments of £960,504 to 12 Village Renewal Projects. Total grant aid investment in Village Renewal Projects is expected to total approximately £1.65 million.


Rural Cooperation

The Partnership had a target to deliver at least two cross border projects and is currently progressing the International Appalachian Trail Cooperation Project and Killykeeghan/Cuilcagh Mountain Experience Cooperation Project.

Estimated grant aid value of both projects is £500,000.


Contact Us

To find out more information on the work carried out by the LAG or information on any possible upcoming grant awards please contact

Edel Browne, Funded Programmes Manager email: edel.browne@fermanaghomagh.com

Simon Cassidy, Rural Development Programme Coordinator email: simon.cassidy@fermanaghomagh.com

Elaine Beattie, Funded Programmes Finance and Verification Officer email: elaine.beattie@fermanaghomagh.com

Valene McCaughey, Rural Development Project Officer email: valene.mccaughey@fermanaghomagh.com

Wendy Montgomery, Clerical Officer email: wendy.montgomery@fermanaghomagh.com



Fermanagh and Omagh Local Action Group Strule House

16 High Street, Omagh

BT78 1BQ

Telephone 028 8225 0202

For further information on grants available through the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, please visit their website on www.daera-ni.gov.uk

Download file: FOLAG Board Members 2020/2021

FOLAG Board Members 2020/2021

29th March 2021
PDF - 5 MB