Investment scheme a boost for businesses

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Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill has said the Rural Business Investment Scheme will present opportunities for rural businesses and communities.

Speaking at a Rural Business Investment Seminar in Aghagallon on Monday evening, Minister O’Neill encouraged businesses to avail of the opportunities that will exist and to prepare in advance of the scheme opening early 2016.

The seminar was hosted by Deputy Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Catherine Seeley, with Minister O’Neill and DARD officials addressing questions from those in attendance at the event.

Minister O’Neill said: “The LEADER element of the Rural Development Programme, administered on behalf of my Department by 10 Local Action Groups (LAGS), is worth approximately £70million and will make a significant contribution to the economic growth of our rural areas and help sustain vibrant rural communities.

“The Rural Business Investment Scheme, an important element of LEADER, is worth up to £27million and will provide much needed investment support for the creation and development of micro and small enterprises.”