Rural Affairs Minster Edwin Poots has launched a £500,000 capital grant scheme to aid established rural social enterprises to increase their capacity, potential profitability and sustainability.
The Rural Social Enterprise Investment Scheme aims to improve rural social enterprise sustainability; to strengthen rural communities; to improve the economic circumstances of rural communities; and to work in partnership with others.
Launching the grant scheme, Minister Poots said: “It is vital that we continue to support our rural social enterprises to sustain and grow. The social enterprise sector exerts a significant positive impact on the Northern Ireland economy. However social enterprise activity is predominately concentrated in urban centres.
“The Rural Social Enterprise Investment Scheme demonstrates my Department’s ongoing commitment to helping rural communities and will provide an opportunity for established rural social enterprises to apply for a grant of between £50,000 and £100,000 to increase their capacity, potential profitability, and sustainability, whilst supporting those who live in rural areas. This will be achieved primarily through capital investment on expenditure related to non-agricultural activity.
“My officials will provide assistance to potential applicants, including facilitation of a series of online pre-application workshops.”
The details of the Rural Social Enterprise Investment Scheme, including how to access pre-application support, are on the DAERA website at: https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/articles/rural-social-enterprise-investment-scheme-pilot-phase-2
The Rural Social Enterprise Investment Scheme is a pilot and the outcomes and lessons from this Scheme will contribute to the development of a future programme under the Rural Policy Framework.