£150k support for Mid and East Antrim Borough’s rural business community
Forty-six Mid and East Antrim rural businesses have benefited from funding to the tune of almost £150,000, the council’s Borough Growth Committee has been told.
Councillors have been advised that a third round is now due to open in July.
The ‘Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Inclusion Programme Rural Business Development Grant Scheme’ is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and administered by district councils.
Twelve businesses have received a share of £40,000 funding in the first round in Mid and East Antrim and 34 shared £105,000 in the second.
A report presented to the committee said that the funding is aimed at “supporting the sustainability, survival and development of micro-rural businesses across Northern Ireland by providing a small capital grant for the business”.
Businesses must be based in a rural area which has a population of less than 5,000 residents.
A maximum grant of £4,999 is available but it is not available for building work.
Speaking at a meeting of the Borough Growth Committee on Monday evening, the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor William McCaughey, a Braid DUP representative, said: “I am really glad to see this coming forward again.”
He asked if businesses have a number of outlets within the rural area, if they would be able to apply for each of them.
He was told that if each business was under the same directorship, that would not be possible.
Coast Road Alliance Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna commented: “It is great to see this third round. It will provide more support to businesses in the rural area.”
Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter
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