Rural Business Scheme a ‘boost to rural economy’

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Wednesday, October 8th, 2014
Business, Politics
Newry & Armagh Sinn Féin MLA Megan Fearon has called on entrepreneurs in rural areas to get ready for the new £27 million Rural Business Investment Scheme, which is expected to be open for applications in Spring 2015.

Sinn Fein MLA Megan Fearon

Speaking to Newry Times, the local MLA said, “I welcome the Ministers announcement that the draft Rural Development Programme programme is being finalised and is expected in October. “The new programme has had £27 million earmarked for a Rural Business Investment Scheme aimed at creating and developing non agricultural activities in rural areas. This is an excellent opportunity for people who have a business idea or established businesses who want to grow and develop. “Rural businesses face additional challenges compared to their urban counterparts such as higher transport costs, poor infrastructure, smaller population centres, planning constraints and sporadic broadband coverage. “The Rural Business Investment Scheme should not be confused with the larger Farm Business Improvement Scheme which aims to create more Small Medium Enterprise’s in rural areas and is open to everyone who has a business proposal. “I strongly advise people who are considering applying to the new scheme to start working on their business cases now and get professional help from organisations such as Invest NI. Fearon added, “In these bleak economic times, this new programme represents a great opportunity for job creation and regeneration in rural areas.”

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