Don’t miss out Rural Micro Grant Programme: O’Neill

Michelle O'Neill said more must be done to help the agriculture sector
Michelle O'Neill said more must be done to help the agriculture sector

Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill has urged rural community groups to apply now for their share of the Rural Micro Capital Grant Programme, with over £200,000 available.

The Minister was speaking as she announced the opening of the second phase of the Programme during a visit to Moneyneena & District Development Initiative in Draperstown, who were awarded £1,500 under the first phase of the Programme earlier this year.

Minister O’Neill said: “The Rural Micro Capital Grant Programme has provided rural community and voluntary groups with the opportunity to take practical steps to modernise and update their premises and to buy vital pieces of equipment that enable them to continue to deliver services to their local rural communities.

“The first phase of the Programme has been extremely successful, with 146 rural community organisations benefitting from Micro Grants so far this year. I have seen today how the funding of £1,500 has facilitated the Monyneena & District Development Initiative in improving and promoting services to the community through something as simple as a photocopier.

“I am therefore pleased to announce that the second phase of the Rural Micro Capital Grant Programme, which is worth over £200,000, is now open for applications until noon on Friday 30 October 2015. I urge rural communities not to miss out on this funding and submit applications to the Programme as soon as possible.”

The Rural Micro Capital Grant Programme is one element of DARD’s Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation Framework. Grants of between £200 and £1,500 are available to rural community-led, voluntary organisations towards the cost of capital equipment, improvement of a capital asset or extending the useable life of a capital asset.

Minister O’Neill added: “While the amount awarded to each group maybe relatively low, the impact of these projects within rural communities is considerable and I would encourage rural community groups to contact their local Rural Support Network or visit the DARD website for more information on the Programme and advice on how to apply.”