Rural Business Development Grant Pilot Scheme

Lagan Rural Partnership 

Rural Business Development Grant Pilot Scheme - open for applications for grants of up to £4,999

Level of Grant Aid
Up to 50% of costs for capital items up to a maximum of £4,999.  Minimum grant awarded will be £500.  The total cost of the capital project must be a minimum of £1,000 and must not exceed £20,000.  Applicants must provide the remaining match funding towards the project. 

Who Can Apply?
Existing businesses that employ less than 10 full-time equivalent employees.  
You must be an established business, actively trading and provide your self-assessment number or Limited Company details and sales turnover details.

You must be based in a rural area.  A rural area is defined as an area with a population of less that than 5,000 residents.  If you are unsure if you are in an eligible area, please get in touch.

You must be able to complete your project within a short timeframe.  Grant offers will be made in mid-February 2020; projects cannot commence before this and must be completed by 31st March 2020, with all works completed, onsite, paid and through the bank account by this date.

Sales turnover details and a copy of a recent bank statement that is used by the Business.

Only one application can be accepted per business.

Applicants must be aged 18 or above at the application deadline.

Who Cannot Apply?
The grant scheme cannot support:

  • Businesses based in urban areas.  ​
  • New start businesses who have yet to commence trading (all business sectors). 
  • Mainstream agricultural activity.

What can be funded?
New capital items or activities including equipment, machinery and building works, which cost no more than £20,000, e.g. computer equipment with associated software, new equipment or machinery, or minor building works to bring an area of a building back into economic use or improve/change the use of the building.  For a project involving building works, the applicant must either own the property, or have a 5 year lease on the property from the date of any Letter of Offer.

Full planning permission must be in place at the time of application.

What cannot be funded?
The following items cannot be funded under the Scheme:

  • Any resource items, such as marketing materials, websites, training, feasibility studies, software (unless also purchasing associated capital hardware);
  • Business running costs, such as staff costs, rent, rates, electric;
  • Motorised vehicles, including vans, lorries, cars, boats, bikes;
  • Improvements or refurbishments of any residential property (even if used for business purposes), including attics, garages and extensions;
  • Improvements or refurbishments of any commercial property that is not owned by the applicant, or has a lease term of less than 5 years;
  • General maintenance or refurbishment works;
  • Any activity or action that is a statutory requirement of your business (eg for Health and Safety purposes such as Personal Protective Equipment) or the responsibility of another government department;
  • Equipment, machinery or building works costing less than £1,000 or more than £20,000;
  • Consumable items used by businesses that are replaced regularly because they wear out or are used up.
  • General maintenance or refurbishment works;
  • Any activity or action that is a statutory responsibility of another government department;
  • Second hand equipment;
  • Projects that have already started prior to a Letter of Offer.

Your application and supporting documents must be submitted by 12noon on Wednesday 18th December 2019. 

Late, or incomplete applications will not be accepted. 

Application Form - Rural Business Development Grant Pilot Scheme

Guidance Notes - Rural Business Development Grant Pilot Scheme

What happens if an application is successful?
If an application is successful, we will issue a Letter of Offer whcih is a legal agreement with the business to deliver on the proposals outlined in their application form.

Signed Letters of Offer must be returned within 14 days of receipt.

Guidance on completing your form
As well as the guidance notes available above, a funding workshop for this new grant scheme will also take place on:  

Date:  Thursday 5th December
Time:  6.30pm - 7.30pm
Location, Lagan Valley Island, Oak Room, 3rd Floor. 

​It is not compulsory to attend but it means guidance is available on completing the application form.

To register your interest in attending the workshop please contact Sarah on 028 9244 7447 or by email at, no later than Thursday 28th November.

For further information please contact the Programmes Team:
Sarah Johnston 
028 9244 7447