McIlveen encourages communities in Ards and North Down to ‘Go For It’ with £1million Business Investment Scheme
DAERA’s £1million Business Investment Scheme will create jobs and stimulate economic growth in Ards and North Down, Rural Affairs Minister Michelle McIlveen has said.
The Business Investment Scheme, which is one of the strands of the Department’s LEADER Rural Development Programme, will assist those in Ards and North Down who wish to consider starting their own business or extend an existing business.

Speaking during a visit to Ards Business Centre which, in partnership with North Down Development Association, has been successful in winning the tender for the delivery of the Ards and North Down Borough Council’s interim ‘Go for It programme’, Minister Michelle McIlveen said: “The Business Investment Scheme strand of my Department’s Leader Rural Development Programme (RDP) has a total budget of over £1million over the programme period 2014 – 2020.

“It will provide an important stimulus for rural economic growth in Ards and North Down, potentially creating at least 40 new jobs. It is important that applicants to the Programme are properly informed and I know that Ards Business Centre, together with North Down Development Organisation, will play an important role in this regard through support services and offering advice on business ideas and submitting applications to the Business Investment Scheme.

“I would encourage anyone who is considering starting their own business to ‘Go For It’ and make use of the services provided by Ards Business Centre and the North Down Development Association.”

The ‘Go For It’ programme provides important advice for those wishing to start or grow a business, in areas such as:
• clarifying business ideas;
• identifying potential problems;
• establishing goals;
• measuring progress; and
• accessing finance to start and grow a business.

Those seeking further advice on the Rural Development Programme should, in the first instance, contact Rural Partners Ards and North Down at Signal Centre Bangor, telephone 0300 013 3333 ext 40919.

Notes to editors:
1. The Council’s interim ‘Go For It’ programme, which will run from 01 November 2016 – 31 March 2017, will enable those seeking to apply for funding from the Business Investment Scheme, under DAERA’s Rural Development Programme, to obtain advice and assistance in submitting robust funding applications to the programme.
2. More information on the Rural Business Investment Scheme is available at https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/publications/rural-business-investment-scheme
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