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BUSINESS | Town centre grant scheme now open for applications

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim pictured with Kathryn Campbell from the Department for Communities

Eligible businesses in the town centres and large villages are now able to apply for grants from £500 up to £2,000 through the Covid-19 Revitalisation Recovery Programme.

The Programme, funded by the Department for Communities (DfC) and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), will help deliver measures that provide a safer and more welcoming environment for visitors, shoppers and workers within our town centres and large villages.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Peter Johnston, said: “I am delighted that the grants available through the Revitalisation Recovery Programme are now open for businesses in Mid and East Antrim to apply for.”

“Our town centres are at the very heart of our local communities and this investment by DfC and DAERA is well-deserved recognition of the critical role they play in driving our local economy.

“The Town Centre Recovery Group which was set up has been working tirelessly to do all they can to assist businesses through this difficult period and these grants will only aid that recovery.”

The Minister of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), Edwin Poots, added: “The impact of the pandemic on customer confidence on rural towns and villages as a retail destination has been unprecedented.

“As lockdown restrictions are being eased and non-essential shops and services, cafes, bars and restaurants are opening for business it is incumbent on central government, in partnership with local councils to provide the assistance required that will help restore visitor and worker confidence that town centres and villages are safe places to work, visit and shop.

“I am confident this Revitalisation Scheme will achieve that and I welcome the opportunity to work with Minister Ni Chuilin to deliver this intervention.”

Businesses in the town centres of Ballymena, Larne and Carrickfergus, as well as the villages of Ahoghill, Broughshane, Cullybackey and Whitehead who meet the eligibility criteria are invited to apply for the grants.

The following types of business are eligible to apply:

  • Independent retailers (engaged in the retail sale of goods)

  • Independent private coffee shops, cafes, bars and restaurants

  • Independent hair and beauty & health businesses

  • Independent service providers such as estate agents, financial advisors, mortgage and insurance

Funding support can cover a wide variety of expenditure, including PPE equipment, internal social distancing measures, signage, contactless payment or app development for booking systems, upgrades to shop frontage, awnings/canopies; outdoor furniture; heaters, queueing systems; PA/tannoy systems and digital screens.

To find out more details and to apply please login to the grants portal at https://mea.eformz.info/

Should you have any queries about the grant contact recoverygrants@midandeastantrim.gov.uk

The programme budget is limited, and funding will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

It will be open for a period of four weeks, closing on 28th September 2020, or earlier if the available funds are allocated.