The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and Mid Ulster District Council have launched an innovative new Scheme to increase the number of new businesses established by young people in rural areas of Mid Ulster. The Rural Business Start Scheme which opened on 5 September 2016, will provide funding towards the costs associated with getting a new business up and running.
Announcing the opening of the Scheme, Rural Affairs Minister Michelle McIlveen said: “I am pleased that my Department and Mid Ulster District Council are working in partnership to deliver the Rural Business Start Scheme, which will be funded with £130,000 under my Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI) programme.
“This pilot scheme will run for one year and aims to test how targeted funding can address financial poverty in rural areas by supporting the creation of diverse new businesses in this council area. I encourage young people living in rural areas of Mid Ulster who have recently completed a Business Plan to consider applying to the Rural Business Start Scheme.
“The Scheme is just one element of my Department’s Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI) Programme and a good example of how an innovative, partnership approach can support the economic and social development of rural areas.”
Grants in the range of £500 to £4,999 will be available and up to 50% of the total capital costs associated with establishing a new business can be funded by the Scheme. In order to be considered for a grant, applicants must be aged between 18 and 30 years of age, in a rural location within the Mid Ulster Council area and have recently completed a business plan. The quality of Business Plans will be reviewed by Invest NI as part of the assessment process and Council will also be represented on the panel and indeed throughout the roll-out of the programme.
Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Trevor Wilson welcomed the Scheme, “Mid Ulster District Council and DAERA are working together on the Rural Business Start Scheme. I am confident that this will encourage new businesses and stimulate economic benefits across rural areas. Mid Ulster is widely renowned for its entrepreneurial culture and support from this Scheme will further enhance this reputation. I would urge anyone who has completed their Business Plan after 1 April 2016 to contact DAERA to see how the Scheme could help their business grow”.
The Programme will prioritise applications led by women and those from the Council’s target sectors of manufacturing/engineering, construction, retail and professional and tradable services. Applications from those living in an area of deprivation will be awarded a higher weighting also.
DAERA will accept applications up until 12 noon on Friday 30 September 2016. Further information on the Scheme and on how to apply is available from the DAERA website (https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/articles/rural-business-start-scheme) or by contacting DAERA on 028 8225 3512.