Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Minister Edwin Poots MLA has announced that his Department's 2022 Rural Micro Capital Grant Scheme (RMCGS) is now open for applications.
Micro Capital grants of between Pound 200 and Pound 1,500 are available to rural community-led, voluntary organisations. An additional element for 2022 will be providing the opportunity to community-led groups to implement energy efficiency measures or environmental improvements to their premises.
Minister Poots said: "The Rural Micro Capital Grant Scheme has been one of the success stories of recent years. The Scheme continues to attract considerable interest from across Northern Ireland's community and voluntary sector. Last year, 632 projects were awarded Pound 800k benefitting an estimated 172,000 rural dwellers to address a locally identified poverty or social isolation issue."
The Minister continued: "Since 2016, through the Rural Micro Capital Grant Scheme, investment of over Pound 5.5m has made a considerable difference to rural community groups across Northern Ireland. The Scheme is an extremely good-fit within my Department's Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation Framework, helping rural community-led, voluntary organisations to identify and deliver projects which tackle localised issues of poverty and / or social isolation."
The total project cost must not exceed Pound 3,000 and applicants must provide a minimum of 15% match funding. The scheme is being delivered by Rural Support Networks on behalf of DAERA.
The Minister continued: "The 2022 Scheme will again focus on the three key themes identified as contributory factors to poverty and social isolation; modernisation of existing premises/assets; information and communications technology, and Health and Wellbeing. Also, in the context of COVID-19 recovery, support will remain available to adapt their premises. For the first time, and in line with the NI Executive's draft Green Growth Strategy, which my Department is leading on, the Scheme will provide an opportunity for organisations to implement energy efficiency measures and/or environmental improvements."
Concluding Minister Poots said: "I urge local community and voluntary groups to consider the Scheme and make an application to address their local needs."
Applicants can apply using the following link, which will take you to the online registration system: https://daera.outsystemsenterprise.com/RMCGS/StartPage
For further information on the 2022 Rural Micro Capital Grant Scheme please contact the Rural Support Network in your local council area. Download Rural Support Network contact details.