Rural Small Grants Scheme proves a sparking success for jeweller Vera

Rachel McNabb

Reporter:

Rachel McNabb

MID and East Antrim Borough Council is welcoming applications for Rural Business Grants of up to almost £5,000.

The scheme is open for applications between 4 May 2022 and 31 May 2022 with Grant aid of between £500 - £4,999 available for projects costing up to £20,000.

Capital grants up to a maximum of 50% grant rate is available to existing micro enterprises based in a rural area to support them to recover, sustain or grow through DAERA’s Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI) Programme.

Grants are available to rural businesses who have not previously been funded under the TRPSI Rural Business Scheme in 2021.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor William McCaughey, said: “This is the fourth rural business grant scheme to be rolled out since 2019. In total over 80 businesses have been successful in their applications with almost £225k of grants awarded. This has contributed to the completion of a diverse range of projects.

“There is clearly a need for these grants due to having almost two thousand rural businesses across the Borough. If you are interested in this scheme and think that it could benefit your business then I would encourage you to apply.”

Vera McCullough, owner of Vera McCullough Jewellery, was successful in securing funding under the second round of the scheme. She said: “I create bespoke pieces of jewellery, jewellery repairs and laser restoration of antique jewellery. One of the business' most popular offerings is the design and creation of engagement and wedding rings.

“Through the rural support grant scheme I was able to purchase setting equipment including a microscope and GRS setting system. This has enabled me to increase my productivity and undertake a greater and wider variety of commissions.

“The grant scheme has been very beneficial to my business.”

Businesses can apply for financial help on a number of items such as computer equipment and software, E-commerce websites, new equipment/ machinery and Covid-19 business recovery equipment.

Information on eligibility criteria and how to apply is available at: www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/rbg

To register for the mandatory online information workshopT. 028 25633266 or E. rdp@midandeastantrim.gov.uk

This is an online application process. Fully completed application forms with supporting documents must be submitted by 12 noon on Tues 31 May.

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