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If you want to find out more information about how to apply or where to access further help, please read on…

Rural Development Team

Apply and
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To help you in your application and ease you through the process, we have gathered up some information on how to apply, the specific requirements for applying and links to other organisations that can help. But remember, you can always contact us if you need any advice or guidance.

Please note that you cannot apply through us. The application must be submitted online through the EU grants database (www.eugrants.org) when the Call for Applications opens.

To start, please complete your Expression of Interest Form so we can keep you up to date with developments.

The Programme will assist in the development of rural economies and create jobs in the Mid and East Antrim area. The funding is open to those people and organisations operating or living in the countryside or settlements with a population of less than 5000.

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10 Steps To
Success

We’ve detailed a list to get you onto the road of success, check it out....

  • Contact us! We can offer advice about the Programme, and whether or not your project is eligible for funding. This could save you a lot of time!
  • Attend a Pre-Application Workshop. You cannot submit an application unless you have done so.
  • Prepare a robust Business Plan if you are applying under the Business Measure, or a detailed Project Plan if applying under the other Measures. Templates will be provided.
  • Have robust procurement documentation to support your project costs. Submit these with your application.
  • Have evidence of funding for at least 50% of the Project Costs in place.
  • Have full Planning Permission and any other statutory obligations in place.
  • If your project is on your land, proof of ownership is required. If you do not have ownership, then a legal lease is necessary. Evidence of which must be available for viewing if your application is successful (and if applicable).
  • Plan your cash-flow requirements. Grant payments will only be made after your project is paid for and complete, or upon successful completion of agreed phases (if applicable).
  • Apply on time. Calls for applications will only be open for a set period, applications cannot be accepted outside of this. The process is expected to be very competitive.
  • Keep in touch with us and respond to all queries ASAP. Delays will only slow down the decision process.

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Business
Resources

Business Plan
Templates

New businesses
If you are starting up a new business, you must complete the “Go for it” Programme which is run by your Local Enterprise Agency: Ballymena Business Centre; LEDCOM; or Carrickfergus Enterprise (details below). You will receive help with putting your business plan together. This Programme is free to new businesses.

Existing businesses
You must use the 3 year Enterprise NI/ Business Info NI template. This is available from the RDP office.

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Contact the office

Support and
Advice

Ballymena Business Centre

Telephone:

0282 565 8616

Website:

www.ballymenabusiness.co.uk

Provides free advice and information to anyone interested in enterprise including students, community organisations and individuals within the Mid & East Antrim council area.

LEDCOM -

Telephone:

0282 827 0742

Website:

www.ledcom.org

Is a 'one-stop-shop' for economic development and enterprise. LEDCOM Charity group which includes LEDCOM, Chain HR, Business Led and Heritage Experience provides a wide range of services including managed workspace, business incubation/innovation support, business skills training, business and economic development consultancy, community economic development, information and advice , international business match making/trade missions, social enterprise development, and local partnership management/ administration services.

Carrickfergus Enterprise

Telephone:

0289 336 9528

Website:

www.ceal.co.uk

Offers a comprehensive range of initiatives designed to assist those who want to start or grow their business. The Business Improvement Programme is available to businesses located within the Carrickfergus Borough. The Programme consists of the following elements: 1) Grow your own Business Programme (Business Mentoring); 2) Iconnect (ICT Mentoring); 3) Business Focus Seminars (Business Seminars); and, 4) Celebration of Enterprise (Networking Event).

INVEST NI

Telephone:

0800 181 4422

Website:

http://www.investni.com/ or www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk

As the regional business development agency, Invest NI's role is to grow the local economy. They do this by helping new and existing businesses to compete internationally, and by attracting new investment to Northern Ireland.

Enterprise NI

Telephone:

028 7776 3555

Website:

www.enterpriseni.com

Provides training, business loans and premises for start-up businesses. Tourism

Tourism NI

Telephone:

028 9023 1221

Website:

www.tourismni.com

Is responsible for the development of tourism and the marketing of Northern Ireland as a tourist destination to visitors within Northern Ireland and from the Republic of Ireland.

Mid & East Antrim Social Enterprise Hub

Telephone:

028 2563 0989

Website:

E: lawrencegreer@ledcomwbp.org

Assists in the creation of new social enterprises by offering mentoring, training, workshops and office and retail space for test trading.

Rural Development Council (Rural Youth Prog)

Telephone:

028 8676 6980

Website:

www.rdc.org.uk

Is designed to recognise, nurture and develop the innovative and enterprising business ideas of young people aged 16-30 from targeted rural areas.

Ulster Farmers Union

Telephone:

028 9037 0222

Website:

www.ufuni.org

Is the largest democratic voluntary organisation representing farmers and growers in Northern Ireland. The UFU takes a close interest in rural affairs and services, and works with politicians both in the U.K. and internationally, and other groups and organisations to advance rural interests.

Princes Trust Enterprise Programme

Telephone:

028 9074 5454

Website:

www.princes-trust.org.uk

Can offer financial and mentoring support to start a business or mentoring support to secure goals in employment, education or training. Aimed at young people aged 18-30 who are unemployed or working less than 16 hours.

DCAL (Sport/Leisure/Culture/Arts Projects)

Telephone:

028 9025 8825

Website:

www.dcalni.gov.uk

Is responsible for the central administration and promotion of sport in Northern Ireland and the administration of Sport NI.

Dept. of Employment & Learning

Telephone:

028 9025 7777

Website:

www.delni.gov.uk

Objectives are to promote economic, social and personal development through high quality learning, research and skills training; and to help people into employment and promote good employment practices.

Community
Resources

Project Plans

All applicants applying to the Community Measure must consult with Mid and East Antrim Council to ensure their project idea ‘fits’ with the Council’s Community Plan. For some projects, Council must also be the Lead Partner. If you contact us we can direct you to the relevant person.

You will also need to submit a robust project plan to support your application.

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Contact the office

Support and
Advice

North Antrim Community Network

Telephone:

028 2177 2100

Website:

www.nacn.org

The primary aims of North Antrim Community Network are to offer a community development service to its member groups and to focus on the practice of networking to allow community groups themselves to share knowledge and experience.

South Antrim Community Network

Telephone:

028 9447 8645

Website:

www.southantrimcommunitynetwork.org

Provides community development support to communities within the council boroughs of Antrim, Newtownabbey and Carrickfergus Council Areas. NI Housing Executive Tel: 0344 892 0900 W: www.nihe.gov.uk Offers a range of services to people living in socially rented, privately rented and owner occupied accommodation as well as supporting and working with a number of other public bodies.

Supporting Communities NI

Telephone:

028 2564 5676

Website:

www.supportingcommunities.org

Is an independent charitable organisation which champions tenant and community participation by developing groups, supporting active citizenship and building cohesive communities.

Mid & East Antrim Social Enterprise Hub

Telephone:

028 2565 0989

Website:

E: lawrencegreer@ledcomwbp.org

Aims to tackle vacancy and community eyesores and the lack of local employment by encouraging social enterprise business start-up within local communities.

Rural Development Council

Telephone:

028 8676 6980

Website:

www.rdc.org.uk

Provides a range of development, support, training and delivery services for individuals, farmers, farm families, groups, communities, public and private sector organisations. Services can be provided within Northern Ireland or further afield.

Ulster Garden Villages

Telephone:

028 9049 1111

Website:

www.ulstergardenvillages.co.uk

The society primarily allocates funds to projects within Northern Ireland that will have a positive impact in Northern Ireland.

Telephone:

Website:

NICVA

Telephone:

028 9087 7777

Website:

www.nicva.org

Is a membership and representative umbrella body for the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland. It lobbies and campaigns to advance the interests of the people and communities that its members support. It offers a wide range of practical services, products and support to its members to help them do what they do best - find innovative solutions for social challenges.

Community Evaluation NI

Telephone:

028 9024 8005

Website:

www.ceni.org

CENI is a not-for-profit organisation providing evaluation support services to the voluntary and community sector and its funders.

Ulster Community Investment Trust

Telephone:

028 9031 5003

Website:

www.ucitltd.com

Is a charity which provides loans exclusively to other third sector organisations such as community groups, charities, sports clubs and social enterprises in Northern Ireland.

NI Rural Woman’s Network

Telephone:

028 8775 3389

Website:

www.nirwn.org

A regional network established to articulate the voice of women in rural areas.

Carnegie Trust

Telephone:

01383 721 445

Website:

www.carnegieuktrust.org.uk

Seeks to improve the lives and wellbeing of people throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland through influencing public policy and demonstrating innovative practice.

Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust

Telephone:

028 2075 2100

Website:

ww.ccght.org

Has the responsibility of promoting and enhancing the unique qualities of the Causeway Coast and Glens area. It aims to promote a sustainable tourism/ development industry for the benefit of visitors and the people who live and work here.

DCAL (Sport/ Leisure/ Culture/ Art Projects)

Telephone:

028 9025 8825

Website:

www.dcalni.gov.uk

Is responsible for arts and creativity, museums, libraries, sport, inland waterways and inland fisheries, linguistic diversity, archives, and for advising on National Lottery distribution.

Come to Our
Workshops

All applicants must attend a PreApplication Workshop before they can apply. The workshops will help to prepare you for applying by providing you with information about the Rural Development Programme and its processes.

We will set out clearly, and at the outset, what’s possible, what’s not, the requirements for applying and the key features of implementation should you be successful. We will also provide you with a timescale for the opening and closing of calls for applications.

The workshops are mandatory; you cannot apply for funding until you attend.

Numerous workshops will be taking place throughout the programme. These will be advertised in the local press, on our website and the MEA Council website.

Please download our frequency asked questions regarding the workshops.

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