Grants and Funding

Rural Business Grants of up to £4,999

The Rural Business Development Grant Scheme is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) as part of the Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI) Programme.

Rural Business Grants of up to £4,999

Capital grants up to a maximum of 50% grant rate are available to existing micro-enterprises based in a rural area to support them to recover, sustain or grow through DAERA’s Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI) Programme.

The scheme is open for applications between Thursday 1 July 2021 and 12noon on Friday 30 July 2021. Grant aid of between £500 - £4,999 is available for projects costing up to £20,000.

Please note: Grants are available to existing micro-businesses based in rural areas who have NOT previously received funding under the TRPSI Rural Business Scheme during 2019-20 or 2020-21.

What can I apply for?

Grant aid is available to support the purchase of new capital items of equipment or machinery or to set up an e-commerce website that cost at least £1,000 and no more than £20,000.

Examples of eligible expenditure includes:

• Computer equipment e.g. computer laptop, printer.
• Computer software (outright purchase, ongoing license fees not eligible).
• E-commerce Websites to allow online purchase capabilities.
• New equipment/ machinery.
• Covid-19 business recovery equipment, including free-standing screens and hand sanitiser units (the hand sanitiser is not eligible).

Further details on what is eligible and not eligible is available in the guidance notes.

How can I find out about the Grant funding?

To find out more about the scheme, the application, assessment and claims process, you should register and attend our online workshop:

You can register for the workshop by contacting T. 028 25633266 or E.

You should also read the application guidance notes available here and at the bottom of the page.

Is my Business Based in a Rural Area?

Rural areas are those areas with less than 5,000 residents and outside of designated urban areas. The scheme cannot support businesses based in the urban towns of Ballymena, Larne, or Carrickfergus, nor within the Mid and East Antrim Urban Area.

If you’re unsure if your business location is eligible, contact T: 028 25633266 or E.

How do I apply?

The application form is available to download here.

Fully completed application forms with supporting documents must be submitted by 12noon on Friday 30 July 2021.

Applications in the Mid and East Antrim area should be submitted via email to

Success Stories

There have been two schemes to date. The first pilot scheme was rolled out in November 2019 and resulted in 11 businesses receiving grants totaling £38,600.

After the success of the pilot scheme the second tranche opened for applications in August 2020 and 37 businesses were successful in their applications. In total £117,466 of funding was offered to businesses under this tranche to complete a diverse range of projects.

Ryan Patterson from R Patterson Contracts was supported through the small grants scheme to purchase a Tiltrotator for his excavator.

Steven McLeister, a local artist used his funding for a laptop to assist with the expansion of his arts business, Precisely Painted.

Ronan O’Dornan from Stillpoint Imageworks used the grant support to increase productivity with the provision of additional camera and lenses for his business.

Katherine Millar from Pro Form Nutrition purchased a bottle labelling machine for her manufacturing business.

Privacy Notice

We are collecting and processing your personal information for the purposes of processing an application under the Tackling Rural Poverty & Rural Isolation (TRPSI) Programme which involves sharing your information with third parties. This is in accordance with 6(1)(e) of the GDPR - the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the Council. Information collected may be shared with, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and Invest Northern Ireland.

Information will not be transferred to countries outside the EEA. All information collected and processed may be subject to audit. Council may also process the information for research purposes carried out in the public interest.

All information will be processed and held in line with our overall Privacy Notice which can be found on our Privacy Notice page.

You have a number of rights with regard to data we hold on you – for further information see the Information Commissioner’s website.

If at any point you believe the information we process on you is incorrect you can request to see this information and even have it corrected or deleted. If you wish to raise a complaint on how we have handled your personal data, you can contact our Data Protection Officer who will investigate the matter:

Data Protection Officer
The Braid
1-29 Bridge Street
BT43 5EJ


If you are not satisfied with our response, or believe we are not processing your personal data in accordance with the law, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).