Rural Fund Welcomes New Grant Applications
Lagan Rural Partnership will re-open on Monday 22 August 2011 for fresh applications to the ‘Rural Life’ axis of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme Fund (2007-2013).
The call will remain open until 5.00 pm on Friday 7th October 2011 with applications welcomed from the rural areas of Lisburn City Council, Belfast City Council and Castlereagh Borough Council .
The core objective of the fund is to improve the quality of life in rural areas by supporting a wide range of activities. These include diversification into non-agricultural activities, support for business creation, encouragement of tourism activities, support to improve access to basic services for rural communities and conservation and upgrading of rural heritage.
Applications are particularly welcomed from private individuals & businesses, voluntary & community groups. As delivery agent for the programme in Lisburn, Castlereagh & Belfast Council areas, Lagan Rural Partnership is committed to maximizing grant uptake from its programme budget of £8.7m. A dedicated team of staff based at Lisburn City Council’s Island Civic Centre are available to provide day to day delivery of the programme including advice and assistance to prospective applicants. The unit also provides an efficient grant claims processing service.
Lagan Rural Partnership has enjoyed considerable success to date in the delivery of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme Fund (2007-2013) and grant payments have already been made to applicants from within the local childcare, equestrian, rural tourism, manufacturing, marketing & engineering sectors.
Despite the ongoing adverse effects of the global recession Lagan Rural Partnership is particularly pleased to note a significant increase in successful applications from local engineering companies including aeronautical, precision and steel fabrication. Many of these applications have resulted from new sales orders and reflect renewed optimism and buoyancy within the local rural economy, particularly with the prospect of new job creation and economic growth.
Among these successes is Fabrite Engineering Ltd, a dynamic and expanding steel fabrication and architectural metalwork business based near Maghaberry in Lisburn City Council district. Fabrite provides a comprehensive range of services covering everything from feasibility studies, surveying, planning, design, manufacture and installation. Due to increased sales orders and the need to expand production capability Fabrite Engineering Ltd has recently been successful in an application to Lagan Rural Partnership for a capital grant of approximately £50k for material handling equipment at its recently refurbished premises at Hallstown Road Maghaberry. Fabrite’s Managing Director Kenny McAleenon states
“ This new facility gives us the opportunity to develop our company goal of a total façade package of structural steelwork, cladding, glazing and rain screen systems. Since the introduction of our new handling system we have been able to secure 3 million pounds of work which includes Olympic 2012 projects.”
Cllr Anne – Marie Beattie who has recently been re-elected as Chairperson of the Partnership’s Joint Committee states:
“Lagan Rural Partnership is committed to delivering rural development grant assistance within the Lagan Rural Partnership area of Lisburn, Castlereagh & Belfast and welcomes new as well as return applicants to our 8th call which opens on Monday 22 August 2011.”
This view is supported by Lagan Rural Partnership’s Local Action Group Chairperson Cllr Allan Ewart who adds, “I would strongly encourage prospective applicants to the fund to contact our project staff who will be pleased to provide direction and support in all aspects of your application”.
For further advice we would encourage you to contact our project staff who are listed below or alternatively you can contact our Admin Unit should you require an application pack:
Emma Donaghy - 02892 509389
Peter Shortt - 02892 509391
Admin Unit - 02892 509419
[Featured in photograph L-R: Mr Kenny McAleenan, Managing Director of Fabrite Engineering Ltd, Cllr Allan Ewart, Chair of Local Action Group, Lagan Rural Partnership, Mr Peter Shortt, Rural Development Officer, Lagan Rural Partnership, Mr Colin Brown, Technical Director of Fabrite Engineering Ltd Cllr Ann-Marie Beattie, Chair of Joint Council Committee, Lagan Rural Partnership.Photography by Stephen Wilson]