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Town centre grant scheme launching to help businesses with COVID-19 recovery

Businesses in our town centres and villages will soon be able to apply for grants of up to £2,000 through the Covid-19 Revitalisation Recovery Programme.

This Programme is funded by the Department for Communities (DfC) and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), as part of an NI wide response to Covid-19 which was announced in late July.

It 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:

“These grants will allow businesses in our town centres and larger villages the opportunity to invest in their premises, with a particular emphasis on meeting the specific challenges presented by Covid-19 and which will give a welcome boost to all areas as we navigate our way through the Covid-19 recovery period.

“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 grant scheme will be overseen by the Town Centres Recovery Group which was established by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to work with key stakeholders in supporting the re-opening and recovery of our town centres.

Businesses in the town centres of Ballymena, Larne and Carrickfergus, as well as the villages of Ahoghill, Broughshane, Cullybackey and Whitehead, are all eligible to apply for the grants.

Applications for grants can be to 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.

The opening of the grants scheme goes hand in hand in with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s innovative #RediscoverMEA campaign, a key strand of which is aimed at encouraging citizens to support our town centre businesses by shopping and dining locally and safely.

The programme of support is expected to open this week and will run for up to four weeks, closing earlier if the available funds are allocated.

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

Keep an eye out for more information on the programme on Council’s website and social media channels.

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