This grant scheme is funded under their Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI) programme. It will open for applications between August 3 and 12noon on September 11. 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.

The Rural Business Development Grant Scheme opened for applications on Monday 3rd August, offering Northern Irish business a capital grant of up to £4,999 to invest in innovation and new technologies.

Covid-19 has had a massive impact on businesses throughout Northern Ireland. This Grant aims to aid in the recovery or sustainability of rural, micro-businesses.

Within the scheme, micro-businesses in rural areas can avail of “E-commerce Websites to allow online purchase capabilities”, and this could include either a completely new e-commerce enabled website or an upgrade to an existing website.  The e-commerce element is not restricted to ‘products’, so for service businesses, for example, the additional functionality could be to allow clients to book and pay for online consultations.

This is an incredible opportunity for any rural businesses who wish to develop or enhance their online presence.

Who is eligible to apply?

You can apply for the grant if:

  • You are an existing and actively trading micro-businesses based in rural areas (an area with a population of fewer than 5000 residents)
  • Your business currently employs less than 10 full-time equivalent employees
Key dates:

Scheme Opens: 3rd August 2020
Scheme Closes: 11th September
Grant Offers issued: November 2020
Latest Completion Date: 26 Feb 2021

How to apply?

The scheme is being administered through the local councils, so you will need to contact your council directly as follows:

Council Area Contact Details
Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council grow@antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk
Ards & North Down Borough Council rdp@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk
Armagh City Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council economicdevelopment@armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk
Belfast City Council economicdevelopment@belfastcity.gov.uk
Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council www.causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk/grantsandfunding
Derry City & Strabane District Council catherine.collins@derrystrabane.com
Fermanagh & Omagh District Council businesssupport@fermanaghomagh.com
Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council jennifer.carberry@lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk
Mid & East Antrim Borough Council rdp@midandeastantrim.gov.uk
Mid Ulster District Council rdp@midulstercouncil.org
Newry, Mourne & Down District Council rdp.admin@nmandd.org