Council releases new funding for rural businesses

Tue, 12/11/2019 - 12:56 -- Editor

A new scheme aimed at supporting rural businesses launches this week, offering capital support to assist with projects that contribute to sustaining rural communities.

The Rural Business Development Grant Pilot Scheme is funded under the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI) Programme, and will be delivered by Derry City and Strabane District Council.

The total grant awarded to rural businesses in the DCSDC area is £47,490 and applications are now being invited from existing micro businesses (less than 10 employees) in rural areas with minimum grant awards of £500 and a maximum of £4,999. The total project cost must not exceed £20,000 and applicants must be willing to provide 50% match funding.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Michaela Boyle, urged local businesses to check out their eligibility for the scheme. “This new funding support is completely separate from the Rural Development Scheme and offers a great opportunity for smaller businesses with a project they want to get off the ground.

“Our rural businesses face unique challenges and Council is committed to supporting them where possible in the delivery of projects which will positively impact on rural areas. I would urge any small business to find out if they could benefit.”

The scheme aims to help tackle poverty and social isolation within rural communities across Northern Ireland by enhancing entrepreneurship and growth.

Business officer with Council, Catherine Collins, said: “We hope to help increase innovative activity in rural areas as well as the efficiency of the rural businesses that play such a vital role within rural communities.

“The overall aim is to minimise poverty, social exclusion and inequality amongst those living in rural areas and to complement existing businesses within rural areas. This will provide a more secure future for rural businesses and in turn strengthen and support rural communities. I hope to see a good response from local rural businesses.”

Eligible businesses must be able to demonstrate they have commenced trading and their ability to complete the project. All payments relating to the project must be paid through the business bank account by 31 March 2020.

Application forms, guidance notes and further advice and information are available from DCSDCs Business section or via at www.dcsdcgrantaid.com/applications/

A special information workshop will be held in Sion Stables at 7pm on Wednesday 27th November 2019. The closing date for applications is 12noon on 18th December 2019.