Rural Business Development Grant Pilot Scheme

Lagan Rural Partnership 

Rural Business Development Grant Pilot Scheme - The programme is now closed for applications. 

Future Call for Applications

The first round of funding had a very positive response whereby a total of £30,893.24 was allocated to 8 microbusinesses across Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council.

Due to the success of this pilot scheme, another programme is currently in the final stages of development.  A call for applications is expected to commence in Autumn 2020.

The new TRPSI Framework seeks to promote the development of new and innovative approaches to address poverty and social isolation issues in rural areas. 

To be placed on our contact database for the next programme please contact:

Jennifer Carberry 

Melissa Cunningham

Tel:  028 9244 7447

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 than 5,000 residents.  If you are unsure if you are in an eligible area, please get in touch.

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.