28 September 2001


&#8226 THE Countryside Agency has launched a web-site that aims to remind people about the links between the food they buy and the countryside they love. The site ( explains how the way something is produced is important, plus how and where to buy local foods. Liz Newton, project director at the Countryside Agency, said the site would help improve the market for regional produce.

&#8226 NORTHERN Ireland has been awarded almost k44m (£27m) to spend on rural development over the next six years under the EUs LEADER+ programme. The money will be spent on a number of initiatives, including the use of new technologies in rural areas and projects to add value to local foods. The focus will be on job creation and helping farming families. About one-third of the funding is coming from Brussels, one-third from the government and the rest from the private sector.

&#8226 A GROUP of Chinese restaurants in Newcastle is believed to have been awarded £20,000 as compensation for stories suggesting they were the source of the foot-and-mouth outbreak. According to a report in the Daily Mail, the money has been paid through a regeneration fund called One North East. This is backed by the governments rural regeneration fund, set up to compensate those who had suffered due to the crisis. The payment is understood to be the first for damage to reputation under the governments F&M compensation scheme. &#42

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