Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots MLA has announced that a new £750k tranche of the Rural Micro Capital Grant Scheme (RMCGS) will open for applications on Friday 1 October 2021.
The key aim of RMCGS 2021 is to provide small capital grants of between £200 and £1,500 to rural community-led, voluntary organisations for projects tackling issues of local poverty and/or social isolation. The Scheme is funded from DAERA’s Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI) Programme.
Minister Poots has visited Maguiresbridge in County Fermanagh to see for himself the benefits of this small capital grant to the Maguiresbridge District L.O.L. No.14 Pitch Development and Management Committee. The Minister said: “The Micro Capital Grant Scheme has been one of the success stories of recent years and I am very pleased to announce it reopens on Friday 1 October 2021. It has made a considerable difference to rural communities across Northern Ireland and is an extremely good-fit with our TRPSI programme.”
The Minister continued: “Last year, 628 projects were awarded almost £800k benefitting an estimated 132,000 rural dwellers to improve infrastructure to address a locally identified poverty or social isolation issue. The 2021 programme will again focus on the three key themes identified as contributory factors to poverty and social isolation; Modernisation (of existing premises / assets); Information and Communications Technology, and Improvements to health and wellbeing. Also, in the context of COVID-19 recovery, support will be available to assist groups to reopen and recover.”
In concluding the Minister noted: “I urge local community / voluntary groups to consider the Scheme and make an application to address the need they identify. For further information about the Rural Micro Capital Grant Scheme 2021, please contact your local Rural Support Network for your council area.”
Barrett Rennick of Maguiresbridge District L.O.L. No.14 Pitch Development and Management Committee added: “The RMCGS has provided funding for equipment to enable our Committee to maintain our facilities which contribute to the wellbeing and health of the local Maguiresbridge community, helping to alleviate community tension and reducing social isolation. I would encourage any rural community voluntary group to apply to the Scheme. The support provided through the Rural Support Network makes the process straightforward and I’d encourage any group thinking of applying to make sure to contact their local RSN.”