Local photographer ‘snaps up’ rural funding

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Tuesday, August 14th, 2012
Business, Community
Southern Organisation for Action in Rural Areas (SOAR) is delighted to award financial assistance of over £31,645 to Shanroe Photography for a range of equipment to expand and diversify their current business. At time of application, Shanroe Photography wanted to ‘add on’ to existing facilities in order to help strengthen the market share by providing a purpose built studio and purchase a range of equipment which would allow the development of a slate based craft product. The applicant, Noelle Marks, researched the need in the area for a slate based craft product which she was keen to develop as a unique product for various markets. The end product entails an image being produced and transferred onto slate. The production involves 2 stages – the photographic of images and then the hand crafted method of producing the final product. Images of the slate can include landmarks or people. The business was established in October 2005 and since then has grown in size and popularity. Noelle Marks is a qualified photographer and is a member of the Master Photographers Association (MPA). Led by Craigavon Borough Council, Armagh City and District Council and Newry and Mourne District Council, SOAR delivers funding from the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme in partnership with the Department of Agricultural and Rural Development to projects relating to farm diversification, growing rural businesses, encouraging tourism, developing new rural community services and telling the cultural heritage story. Applications for grant aid are due to open later in 2012.  This grant aid will allow people living in these rural areas to invest in a new farm diversification project or rural business, or to expand existing projects and businesses. Miceal McCoy Chairperson of SOAR’s Local Action Group stated “This is another excellent example of a rural business gaining the financial assistance from SOAR, to grow and expand. SOAR are proud to be associated with the success that is Shanroe Photography, a vibrant and forward thinking local company who are determined to grow in reputation.” Grants of up to £50,000 for Businesses are available for equipment, renovation of underused buildings or capital construction of new buildings to house new businesses.  £5,000 is also available for marketing activities such as the development of websites, new brochures to promote a business and their services and products, as well as new signage. If you are interested in receiving an information pack, please contact the SOAR central office on 028 3831 2588 or visit our website www.soarni.org for more information.
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