Home Business Rural Business Development Grant Scheme

Rural Business Development Grant Scheme

Rural Business Development Grant Scheme


The Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation Programme’s (TRPSI) Rural Business Development Grant Scheme aims to support the sustainability, recovery and development of rural micro-businesses across Northern Ireland by providing a small capital grant for the business.  The TRPSI Programme is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, and this grant Programme is administered and managed by local Councils.

The Programme will be open for applications as follows:

Opening date: Wednesday 4 May 2022
Closing date:   Tuesday 31 May 2022 at 12 noon

Prior to submitting an application all eligible businesses must attend a pre-funding workshop, which are being held on:

Spaces are limited to one person per business at the workshops.

This is a capital grant scheme to support the purchase of new capital items of equipment or machinery or to set up an e-commerce website.  The minimum spend on one, or a combination of, eligible items is £1,000 and your project must not cost more than £20,000.

PLEASE NOTE: Businesses who have received financial assistance from the TRPSI Rural Business Development Grant Scheme in 2021 are not eligible to apply.

Examples of eligible expenditure includes:

  • Computer equipment, eg computer, laptop, printer.
  • Computer software (outright purchase; ongoing license fees are not eligible).
  • E-commerce Websites to allow online purchase capabilities.
  • New equipment/ machinery.
  • Mobile machinery, such as scissor lifts, forklifts, ride-on lawn mowers.
  • Covid-19 business recovery equipment, including free standing screens and hand sanitizer units (the hand sanitizer is not eligible).

The Scheme can provide funding of up to 50% of costs for capital items up to a maximum of £4,999.  The minimum grant awarded will be £500.  The total cost of the capital project must be a minimum of £1,000 and must not exceed £20,000.  Applicants must provide the remaining match funding towards the project.

This is a competitive process and all grants awarded will be determined on the basis of merit.

You can apply for a Rural Business Development Grant if:

  • The business is based in a rural area of Northern Ireland.  A rural area is defined as an area with a population of less than 5,000 residents. If you are unsure if you are in an eligible rural area, please contact your local Council office before submitting your application.
  • You are an existing, registered  private Business or Social Economy Enterprise that is actively trading commercially; evidenced by providing your self-assessment number or Limited Company details and sales turnover details.
  • You have not received funding under the TRPSI Rural Business Development Scheme 2021.  Businesses that received funding under the TRPSI Rural Business Development Scheme in 2019 and in 2020 are eligible to apply.
  • Your business currently employs less than 10 full-time equivalent employees (based on full time 30 hours per week and part time at least 16 hours per week).
  • You are appropriately insured or prepared to obtain appropriate insurance if awarded a grant (building, contents or public liability insurance as appropriate).  No evidence of this is required at application stage, but you will be asked to confirm insurance cover at grant claim stage and provide it should your claim be selected for an audit check.
  • You have a dedicated bank account used by the business.  No evidence of this is required at application stage, but you must confirm you have this as part of your application declaration.  Bank statements showing payments clearing from this dedicated bank account are required at claim stage.
  • You have attended a pre-funding workshop before the application call closes.  Details of workshops are available by contacting your local Council using the details in Appendix 1.
  • You can provide a detailed specification and two ‘like for like’ quotations for each item to be purchased which meet the guidance stated in section 1.7.
  • You can complete your project before 31 October 2022.  It is anticipated that grant offers will be made in late August / early September 2022.  Your project cannot commence until you receive a formal offer of funding.  Projects must be completed by 31 October 2022, with all works completed, onsite and operational, paid and through the bank account by this date.
  • You are aged 18 or above at the application deadline.  You may be asked to provide evidence of this at some point in the assessment process, if you are awarded a Letter of Offer.
  • Only one application can be accepted per business/ legal entity.
  • Sports Clubs and Community Groups can only be considered if they are commercially trading and generate sales revenue from selling goods and services to customers who are not exclusively Club or Community Group members.  The grant can only be used to support the sustainability, survival and/or development of this commercial element, and not for the club or community group on its own. Projects that can be supported from other funding sources, such as Sport NI, are not eligible to be considered under this scheme.

Applicants who are deemed successful must be able to attend a Letter Of Offer workshop (early September 2022).  Failure to attend these workshops will result in your Letter of Offer being withdrawn.

Your application and supporting documents must be submitted online and uploaded by 12noon on Tuesday 31st May 2022. (THIS SCHEME IS NOW CLOSED )

The online system closes at this date and time and therefore no late applications will be accepted.  It is recommended that you register, complete and submit your application as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

If you require any additional help, please contact or telephone 07702696260 or 07721746764

Late applications cannot be accepted.