Green watchdog gets £2m from DAERA

An environmental watchdog has received almost £2m in funding from DAERA over the last two financial years, Agriculture Minister Andrew Muir has said.

The Office of Environmental Protection (OEP) was established after Brexit to scrutinise what government departments and other public authorities do in relation to the environment.

The body initially covered England, but its powers were extended to NI in 2022 following a vote in the NI Assembly.

In response to a written question from DUP MLA Tom Buchanan, Minister Muir said the OEP received £670,000 from DAERA in 2022/23, but £71,000 of this was unspent.

He said the watchdog received an increased budget from DAERA of £1.25m for 2023/2024.

“Allocations for 2024/25 have not yet been finalised and will depend on available budgets,” Minister Muir confirmed.

Redrock, Agquip in new partnership

Two of NI’s leading agri-machinery manufacturers have announced details of a joint business venture.

Co Armagh-based Redrock Machinery Ltd has entered into a partnership with Ballymoney based Agquip Ltd, a company which specialises in the design and manufacture of low-emission slurry spreading equipment (LESSE).

Since 2010, Agquip has has supplied LESSE products to Redrock for use within its slurry handling range and distribution across its dealer network.

Agquip will move production lines to a newly refurbished facility at Redrock’s Armagh factory, with its Ballymoney premises focusing on research and development.

Earlier this month, Redrock Machinery acquired the KTwo brand after the company entered administration this spring, with production of trailers and spreaders to continue at its main site in Buckinghamshire.

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