Rural Micro Business Growth Scheme

News article

Grant for existing rural micro-businesses to invest in innovation and new technologies and for start-ups developing new products or services

The Rural Micro Business Growth Scheme will provide a grant to existing rural micro-businesses to invest in innovation and new technologies, which improve efficiency and productivity, create growth in the rural economy and make a positive climate-related contribution. The scheme will also fund new business start-ups that introduce new products or services to the market place.

The minimum grant support available is £5,000 and the maximum grant will be £40,000. The grants can only fund up to 50% of eligible costs.

Definition of a rural area
Your project must be located in a rural area. For the purposes of the Rural Micro Business Growth Scheme rural is defined as all those areas outside the statutory development limits of those towns with a population in excess of 5,000 inhabitants. View a list of settlements with populations in excess of 5,000.

How do I apply to the Rural Micro Business Growth Scheme?
There are two stages to the application process. First, you must submit an ‘Expression of Interest’ (EOI) form. If the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) endorse your EOI, you will be invited to submit a full application.

Stage 1 - Expression of Interest
You must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) form. DAERA will use the information you provide on the EOI form to check that both the business and project are eligible.

Stage 2 - Application
If invited to submit a full application, you will have to provide more information that will allow DAERA to further assess your project and your business.

See full information on who can apply, what is eligible for assistance, and how to apply for the Rural Micro Business Growth Scheme.

For further information, you can email RBCI.programme@daera-ni.gov.uk.

The deadline for receipt of an EOI is 5pm on 31 August 2020. You can submit your application any time before the deadline.

Funding for these grants is limited and a competitive process will apply. There no guarantee that your application will be successful.

DAERA is also delivering a Rural Business Development Grant Scheme offering £500-£4,999 in support for projects costing up to £20,000. The deadline for application to that scheme is 12 noon on 11 September 2020.

Please note: you can only apply for a grant from either the Rural Micro Business Growth Scheme or the Rural Business Development Grant Scheme.


First published 5 August 2020