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Council Calls for Applications to Rural Business Development Grant Scheme

July 23, 2020

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is delighted to announce the upcoming Rural Business Development Grant Scheme funded by the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA); and is encouraging local rural micro-businesses to consider applying.

This grant scheme is funded under their Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI) programme. It will open for applications between 3 August 2020 and 12 noon on 11 September 2020. The capital grants are capped at £4,999 at a match-funding rate of 50% from DAERA and 50% from participating businesses.  The minimum grant awarded will be £500. 

Speaking about the upcoming programme, Alderman Jim Dillon MBE, Development Committee Chairman said “Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our lives and the significant financial uncertainties within the economy, we are delighted to get another opportunity to offer this small capital grants scheme to local non-agricultural businesses.  Eligible applications must be from existing micro-businesses with less than 10 full time employees. The total capital costs of the projects must be between £1,000 and £20,000.

“The TRPSI programme wants to support businesses to recover, sustain and grow.  It will play an important role in enhancing entrepreneurship while tackling poverty and social isolation within rural communities.  I would encourage all smaller rural businesses in the Lisburn Castlereagh area to consider this great opportunity to get assistance, especially if you have been impacted by recent events.”

Examples of eligible expenditure include:

  • New capital equipment / machinery
  • Computer equipment and software
  • E-commerce websites
  • Capital costs to facilitate health and safety changes to working practices and alterations to premises needed due to COVID-19 restrictions
  • Some modifications to business premises are eligible.  Applicants should ask for further guidance.

The first round of the scheme had a 100% positive response rate from all beneficiaries in Lisburn Castlereagh.  Speaking about the programme, Gillian Patterson from Hagans Croft Equestrian said: “This programme provides a fantastic opportunity for small rural businesses.  Receiving financial support to purchase key items of equipment has enhanced our business capabilities to ensure a high standard of care to the horses in our livery and the wider equestrian community.  I found the application easy to complete, the workshops were useful and the process was easy to follow.”

For further advice regarding eligibility, an application pack or to register your interest to attend one of our upcoming funding workshops, please go to or alternatively email or phone 028 9244 7447.