Derry City & Strabane - New Seed Fund open to Sperrin and Derg areas




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New Seed Fund open to Sperrin and Derg areas

28 November 2019

Rural businesses in the Sperrin and Derg areas are being invited to consider applying for support through a new Business Seed Fund led by Derry City and Strabane District Council.

The Sperrin Derg New Business Seed Fund programme aims to support new business start-ups in rural areas by providing one-to-one mentoring support and financial assistance to businesses and social enterprises.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Michaela Boyle, said it was great to see additional support for rural entrepreneurs. “I am delighted to see another funding opportunity open up in the rural community. This latest round of grant aid will be warmly welcomed by anyone with a business idea who may be struggling to get it off the ground. “Help and advice is out there through Council’s Business Support services, and I would encourage business start ups to look into the opportunities available.”

The programme covers a wide array of project ideas and the support can be used towards the marketing of products, capital costs, rent, set-up costs, or the cost of renovating and upgrading premises. However the amount of available funding is limited and the grants are awarded on a selective basis.

Business Support Officer Catherine Collins said it would offer much needed support in rural areas. “As a Council we are aware of the challenges faced by small businesses operating in rural areas, including connectivity and targeting customers. The fund is aimed at businesses planning to open in the Sperrin and Derg District Electoral Areas in the next six months, and applicants should be able to demonstrate their ability to start a business within that timeframe.

“Applicants must complete the Go For It Programme with Strabane Enterprise Agency and have an approved business plan. We hope that the funding will assist smaller companies in establishing themselves within rural communities and getting their idea off to a good start.”

The grant will apply to new applications to the Go For It programme registered after November 25th and businesses will be expected to supply a detailed business plan completed by Strabane Enterprise Agency under the ’Go For It’ programme.

The grant made will be 100% of eligible costs up to a maximum contribution of £500 and grant cannot be sought for retrospective projects. Businesses are advised to apply early as applications will be processed on a first come first served basis. An assessment panel comprising Council Officers and Strabane Enterprise Agency will assess all applications.

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