Mayor's Youth Entrepreneurship Award 2023

– Introduction
– Guidance notes:
   – Applicants must demonstrate
   – What can be funded?


The Mayor’s Innovation Fund Youth Entrepreneurship Award is designed to support entrepreneurs, aged 18-30, to develop innovative business ideas that will not only benefit the individual entrepreneur but ultimately benefit the wider Lisburn Castlereagh economy.

The aim of the Fund is:

  • to offer young entrepreneurs an opportunity to create a new business enterprise
  • to foster innovative ideas that have the potential to boost economic activity
  • to inspire and promote the spirit of entrepreneurship within the council area.

The Fund offers financial assistance of up to £5,000 towards costs associated with:

  • Business Set-Up costs including capital costs, rent, equipment or marketing
  • Costs associated with developing a new product, service or process  
  • Research and development of a new idea e.g. prototyping

The Award will be granted based on merit and applications will be assessed against the programme criteria.  

Applicants should note that the Mayor’s Innovation Fund is not a continual funding programme, but a one-off grant of £5,000.  Successful applicants will not be eligible to apply for future rounds.

The successful applicant must be prepared to take part in all publicity activities associated with the award.

Guidance notes:
Applicants must demonstrate

  • That they are the owner of an existing business established within the last 6 months or plan to establish a new business in the LCCC area within the next 6 months
  • That they are aged between 18-30 on the application closing date
  • How they will develop a new innovative product or service and the positive impact it will have on the local economy
  • That the business has potential for long term growth and development
  • Their commitment to strive for future job creation.

What can be funded?

Please note only expenditure relating to business set-up, expansion or diversification will be considered, examples include but are not limited to, marketing of products, equipment, set-up costs, or cost of renovating premises.

Only costs included in the application and any subsequent Letter of Offer will be eligible.  No spend must be incurred prior to acceptance of the Letter of Offer.

Quotations must be sought for all project related purchases in line with Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Procurement thresholds and guidelines.

To ensure value for money for each, quotations and price checks should be sourced prior to ordering goods.

  • 3 written quotations are required for items up to £3,000
  • 5 suppliers  to invited to quote for items costing £3,001 to £5,000
  • Documentation to be retained for future evidence and audit.

NB. Funding will ONLY be available to an individual based in the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council area

What can not be funded?

In general, the following will not be eligible for funding:

  • Sports Clubs, Charities, Political Organisations and activities which are party-political in intention, use or presentation
  • Any costs or projects which are clearly another statutory agency’s responsibility or costs that can be claimed back from elsewhere e.g. VAT
  • Costs towards banking charges and / or repayment of debt or loans
  • Costs incurred prior to a letter of offer from the council (retrospective funding)
  • Costs which are not clearly linked to the business
  • Costs that are assessed as poor value for money, or that are purchased not following council procurement guidelines
  • Capital costs which require planning or building control approval and do not have these permissions in place (due to the short timeframe)
  • Costs that are already covered by other funding or income source
  • Cash expenditure will not be eligible for refund from the council (audit trail)
  • Salary costs
  • Alcohol, gratuities, gifts and prizes
  • Purchase of stock for general trading purposes
  • Costs relating to transportation/vehicles
  • Professional and statutory fees including planning consents, building control and legal fees or any costs incurred in obtaining quotes

Application Process

Before applying, please check that:

  • you are eligible to apply;
  • your application meets the priorities of this fund;
  • you have completed every question on your Application Form;
  • you can provide all the information we ask for as part of the application process.

Once your application is received, we will:

  • Through a panel assess each application on the criteria
  • Contact you with questions should we need to, so please keep a copy of your Application Form for your reference;
  • Not assess your application if it is incomplete.

If your application is successful, we will:

  • Send you a Conditional Offer and our Terms & Conditions of Grant by email to sign and return to the council;
  • Clearly indicate the eligible expenditure for the funding offered.
  • Request the grant to be acknowledged through the inclusion of the official Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s logo on all related promotional material associated with the project and that Mayor Martin is invited to the event/activity to which the grant is awarded. 

Once we have received your signed Terms and Conditions we will:

  • Make payment to your bank account, via the Bankers Automated Clearance System (BACS).

If your application is unsuccessful, we will:

  • Contact you by email to inform you of the outcome, for which there is no right of Appeal.

Proposals must comply with relevant government, public health and licensing guidance and regulations. Any activity outside the set timescales or guidance and regulations will not be eligible for funding.

Closing date for applications is 12 Noon on Friday 28th April 2023. Late applications will not be accepted.

Apply online

or download an application form.