Lisburn Castlereagh businesses benefit from nearly £100,000 of funding support

June 5, 2021

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is delighted to have allocated nearly £100,000 to 35 micro-businesses based in its area. 

This funding was provided through round two of the Rural Business Development Scheme, which is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).  It is expected to launch a third round of funding in July 2021 and will be delivered by local councils.

Jamie McKnight of Found and Formed received a grant of £4,999 to purchase of a briquette press & 11kW converter.  This enables them to take the discarded by-product from their bespoke wood-crafting business and manufacture saleable briquettes.  This process not only creates a new revenue stream but almost entirely eliminates waste within the organisation.

Funded under the DAERA Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation Programme (TRPSI) this grant scheme provides micro businesses with a capital grant capped at £4,999.  It is match funded at a rate of 50% from DAERA and 50% from participating businesses.  Eligible micro businesses must have less than 10 full-time employees. 

Speaking about the recent programme, Alderman Jim Dillon MBE, Development Committee Chairman, said: “Given the COVID-19 pandemic and financial uncertainties within the economy, we were delighted to offer this small capital grants scheme to local businesses.  It aims to enhance entrepreneurship and growth while tackling poverty and social isolation within rural communities.  It certainly provided a great opportunity for smaller rural businesses significantly impacted by the pandemic to get assistance.”

Jamie McKnight of Found & Formed regarding his experience with the TRPSI 2020/21 Programme commented: “I would like to express my gratitude towards DAERA and the council for processing my claim to allow me to purchase a new briquette machine.  Without the financial support, I would not have been able to afford the equipment that is already proving beneficial to my business by reducing waste & generating a new avenue of income.”  

Eligible businesses must be able to demonstrate they are an existing non-agricultural business based in a rural area. 

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is calling on all existing micro-businesses within rural Lisburn and Castlereagh to consider applying to the next round of the Rural Business Development Grant Scheme.  While we await further details from DAERA, we would ask interested organisations to register their interest in the scheme by emailing sarah.johnston@lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk or calling 028 9244 7447 for more information.