West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Rural businesses urged to prepare for funding measures

Published: 23 June, 2015

Some of the participants at the rural business funding seminar.

Some of the participants at the rural business funding seminar.

The representatives of around 80 rural businesses attended a funding seminar in Mountfield on Saturday morning. The information session was organised by local MLA Declan Mc Aleer, who is also a member of the Assembly's DARD committee. Speaking afterwards Mr Mc Aleer said "The objective of the seminar was to help individuals and groups with a business idea get prepared for the upcoming Rural Business Investment Scheme. Participants were addressed by representatives of DARD, Omagh Enterprise Company, the Rural Development Council with contributions from LAG members, Omagh Forum for rural associations and the Rural Community Network. "The over-riding themes emerging from the discussion was the importance of having a clear business idea, match funding, having necessary statutory approvals in place and having a business case prepared. "These are absolute requirements for applying to the Rural Business Investment Scheme and were among the reasons why some applicants were unsuccessful in the last programme. This is something we want to avoid in the new round, particularly in the current economic climate. "The other strong piece of advice emerging from the session was the importance of engaging with the Local Action Group who are currently in the process of formulating a local development strategy for rolling out the programme. "The Rural Development Programme of which the Rural Business Investment Scheme is an integral part of is one of the few opportunities for economic and social development in rural areas. I strongly encourage people to familiarise themselves with the programme and get prepared now to apply to the funding measures when they open for applications in the Autumn".