We have opened our Rural Shopfront Scheme for a further round of funding.  It aims to provide support for eligible businesses to carry out minor alterations or repairs to their shopfronts, or to just simply brighten up their façades for the summer months with a coat of paint or a new window box.   

The Rural Shopfront (Minor Works) Scheme is part of the council’s COVID-19 Recovery Small Settlements Regeneration Programme, funded through the Department for Communities, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, and the Department for Infrastructure.  

Speaking about this new round of the Rural Shopfront Scheme, DAERA Minister, Andrew Muir said: “My Department through the Covid Recovery Small Settlements Regeneration Programme continues to work in partnership across central and local government to deliver partnership projects which are helping to regenerate rural villages and town centres. 

“This partnership approach to delivery has a catalysing effect on rural settlements, creating additional opportunities for increased social interaction and economic regeneration, which in turn benefits our economy and helps address social isolation issues in rural areas.  I am delighted that the rural shopfront scheme is continuing to support our rural businesses by providing funding for projects that improve the visuality of buildings in rural areas hence creating a more vibrant and welcoming place for residents and visitors to come and enjoy.”

Alderman Amanda Grehan, Regeneration & Growth Committee Chair also recognised the benefits of this scheme to businesses in rural areas, saying: “The results of existing investment from the Small Settlements Programme have been very welcome and the results are clear to see.  This is the third round of Rural Shopfront Scheme funding for our small towns and villages.  I would encourage any interested business to consider taking up this opportunity for financial support towards shopfront improvements.” 

To be eligible for a Small Settlements Rural Shopfront (Minor Works) grant, a business must be located within one of the following villages: Aghalee; Annahilt; Ballinderry; Dromara; Drumbeg; Glenavy; Maghaberry; Milltown or Moneyreagh.

For more information on eligibility and how to apply to the Small Settlements Rural Shopfront Minor Works Scheme please click this link