Northern Ireland’s rural affairs Minister Edwin Poots has announced that a new £750k tranche of the Rural Micro Capital Grant Scheme (RMCGS) will open for applications on Friday 1 October 2021.

The key aim of RMCGS 2021 is to provide small capital grants of between £200 and £1,500 to rural community-led, voluntary organisations for projects tackling issues of local poverty and/or social isolation.

The 2021 programme will focus on the three key themes identified as contributory factors to poverty and social isolation:

  • Modernisation (of existing premises/assets)
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Improvements to health and wellbeing.
  • The programme will also deliver a COVID-19 recovery support, which will be available to assist groups to reopen and recover.

    Poots commented: “Last year, 628 projects were awarded almost £800k benefitting an estimated 132,000 rural dwellers to improve infrastructure to address a locally identified poverty or social isolation issue.

    “[RMCGS] has made a considerable difference to rural communities across Northern Ireland and is an extremely good-fit with our TRPSI programme."

    Grant benefits

    Poots recently visited Maguiresbridge in Co Fermanagh to see the benefits of this small capital grant to the Maguiresbridge district .

    Barrett Rennick of Maguiresbridge district pitch development and management committee commented: “The RMCGS has provided funding for equipment to enable our Committee to maintain our facilities which contribute to the wellbeing and health of the local Maguiresbridge community, helping to alleviate community tension and reducing social isolation.”

    The Scheme is funded from DAERA’s Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI) programme.

    For further information about the Rural Micro Capital Grant Scheme 2021, contact the local Rural Support Network for your council area or click here.