THE EUROPEAN Commission has announced grants equivalent to Pounds nine million for the promotion of rural development in Wales, which will be able to be sourced and directed by local authorities. The cash will underpin investment of pounds 18.5 million over the five years to 2006, with Pounds 900,000 coming from the private sector. The EU money will come from the Leader+ programme, which helps farmers switch to new rural activities. EU Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler said the programme would "pilot new ideas to help build a more ...

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