Local organisations secure grant funding

DAERA Minister Michelle McIlveen announces details of the successful applicants in the Rural Micro Capital Grant Scheme. She's pictured with Craig Billington, Chairperson of Ballyhalbert Community Association, one of the groups set to benefit from the funding.

DAERA Minister Michelle McIlveen announces details of the successful applicants in the Rural Micro Capital Grant Scheme. She's pictured with Craig Billington, Chairperson of Ballyhalbert Community Association, one of the groups set to benefit from the funding.

Several local community organisations got an early Christmas present last week when Rural Affairs Minister Michelle McIlveen confirmed they’d been successful in securing funding through the department’s Rural Micro Capital Grant Scheme.

The scheme, funded through DAERA’s Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation Programme, provides rural based voluntary and community groups with grant awards of between £200 and £1,500 to purchase capital items, improve a capital asset or extend the useable life of a capital asset.

This year 493 rural organisations across Northern Ireland have been awarded grants, representing a total investment of £609,000.

Among the successful applicants were Aghalee Village Hall (£852), Dromara Community Group (£917), Dromara GAC (£1,499), Hillsborough Community Centre (£1,108), Maghaberry Community Association (£833) and Stoneyford (£355).

“The significant impact that these small grants can make highlights the importance of the scheme,” the Minister said. “Used wisely, organisations can purchase a wide range of capital items that can enhance the invaluable work that they undertake for their community. The impact that these micro grants can make is considerable.”

She added: “Community and voluntary organisations are the heart of so many rural areas. They excel at creating community spirit and providing people with a sense of belonging. I congratulate all 493 organisations on their successful applications to the scheme.”

For further information about the Rural Micro Capital Grant Scheme log on to www.daera-ni.gov.uk