Sinn Fein MEP pays a visit to Banbridge

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Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson has visited the Banbridge Council District to discuss EU funding opportunities.

The Sinn Féin MEP was in the District to discuss funding opportunities available to councils with the establishment of the new super councils.

Speaking after the visit Banbridge Councillor Brendan Curran said: “Martina wanted to hear about council’s experience in securing and administrating EU funded schemes.

“She was keen to promote greater uptake of European Funding through the many and various funding streams available to Local Government.”

Councillor Paul Gribben noted that Ms Anderson was impressed by the way Banbridge had achieved maximum effect from the funding they had procured.

The MEP visited Scarva Tearooms and Bandstand and was briefed about a new trial Bicycle Hire Scheme before strolling the tow-path in order to view the Rail Station.

She discussed the possibilities for developing the area’s potential through greater use of the railway with council officials.

Ms Anderson visited the F.E. McWilliam Centre in the company of Banbridge Council officials and there met with the Chief Executive of the Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon Shadow Council.

She spent several hours at the Centre and sampled the four star cuisine before travelling on to the Leitrim area with Councillor Gribben.

Councillor Curran remarked that the MEP had commented on the ‘amazing Golden Nuggets’ she had seen on her visit and was keen to see the District’s very credible record built upon.

He said: “Ms Anderson noted that the European funding uptake in the north is a pittance when compared to other regions.

“She pointed to the success of dedicated EU Departments at Local Government level in other districts and suggested that this might be a worthwhile proposition for the new shadow Council to consider as it puts its structures in place.”