Expressions of Interest

SOAR (ABC) are now open for Expressions of Interest (EoI) under both our Rural Business Investment Scheme and Basic Services measure. Please visit our application page to complete and EoI and you’ll find more information on the measures on our Funding page.


A further series of dates has been announced for on-farm health and safety workshops delivered as part of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014-2020 – Farm Family Key Skills.

Farmers, farm family members and farm employees can attend free workshops at various farm venues across Northern Ireland. The workshops offer practical awareness raising which covers the everyday hazards faced by the farming industry.

See attached poster for details on dates and areas.  All workshops commence at 7pm. An off-farm venue in Ballymena is also scheduled in for January 2018.

Anyone interested in attending MUST register in advance either via or alternatively contact RDC on 028 8676 6980.

Lapland Promotion

RYE Connect is keen to help young entrepreneurs turn their business idea into reality whilst also offering an opportunity to travel to Lapland for a week-long series of masterclasses, mentoring and business support.

Please see attached Flyer for more information.

Business Measure Opening Soon

SOAR (ABC) plan hold funding workshops towards the end of April 2017 for those applicants hoping to apply under the Rural Business Investment Scheme. If you are interested in applying please go to our application page (click here) to complete an Expression of Interest form and sign up for attendance at a workshop. Further details on what’s eligible can be found on the Funding Page (click here), or contact the SOAR (ABC) office on 028 3831 3614 for further details.

Social Housing Enterprise Investment Scheme

In September 2015, the Housing Executive introduced the Social Housing Enterprise Programme. As part of the strategy it was agreed that financial investment may be awarded to individuals or groups living or working in NIHE estates, to enable development of personal or organisational capacity to improve or develop economic activity in the area.

The 2016 / 2017 Social Housing Enterprise Programme is now open for Business Start-up, Education & Training Awards of up to £1000. This programme is

Applications for large awards of £10,000, £20,000 & £50,000 are currently closed and will be available in April 2017. However, applications can currently be submitted for smaller awards of up to £1000 (until funds have depleted).

More information is available at:

SOAR (ABC) Newsletter – Winter 2017

The SOAR (ABC) Newsletter for Winter 2017 is now available.  Click on the link below to have a look to see some of the projects SOAR (ABC) have supported so far and what the plans are for the coming months.

DAERA NIEA Challenge Fund 2016/17

 DAERA NIEA Challenge Fund 2016/17 

Please note that the DAERA NIEA Challenge Fund 2016/17 has now opened.

See the following links for additional information  and guidance on making applications.

Projects may be funded to a maximum of £20,000 and applications must be received by noon on Friday 18thof November 2016.

All successful projects under this programme must be completed by the 15th of March 2017.

Communities Minister launches Small Grants Scheme for equipment

Communities Minister launches Small Grants Scheme for equipment
Communities Minister, Paul Givan MLA has announced funding of £270,000 for a small grants pilot programme to provide assistance to voluntary and community organisations to purchase equipment.

The Programme will be run across Northern Ireland and will be aimed at small organisations who may have difficulty accessing more mainstream funding programmes. Awards of between £1,500 and £5,000 are available. Organisations across the youth, sporting, charitable and faith-based sectors are all encouraged to apply.

To be eligible, organisations must meet at least two of the following programme outcomes: Objective 1  – Partnership and collaboration Objective 2  – Income generation and/or cost reduction Objective 3  – Improving access to services Objective 4  – Enhanced capacity to deliver services Objective 5  – Tackling obstacles to good relations within and/or between communities Objective 6  – Delivery of services and facilities in support of disadvantaged children and young people (0-24 years)

Groups must not have an annual income exceeding £100,000 per year and grants must be spent by 31st March 2017.

For further information, and to apply, visit The closing date for applications is 23 November 2016. 

Enterprise Week 2016

Book your place on one of our Enterprise Week Events

From inspirational conferences, funding workshops, digital seminars and mentoring sessions, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has partnered with key organisations to host a week-long programme of events aimed at cultivating and strengthening our Borough’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

From 14th – 20th November, Enterprise Week events are aimed at all businesses, entrepreneurs and ‘wantrepreneurs’. There is something for everyone interested in developing an idea or growing their business.

Register for one of our events now by clicking on the links in the document below.



SOAR (ABC) is now open for Expressions of Interest (EoIs) for project proposals under both Basic Services and Village Renewal measures for both technical support and capital grants.

Rural Basic Services:

This measure is aimed at supporting the provision of improvements in social infrastructure that will provide access to basic services which are an integral part of and in line with the Council Community Plan and emerging priorities. The project must fit in with the theme of Innovative Service Delivery and allow a number of services to be delivered to the community.

Eligible Applicants: Council, Community / Voluntary Sector or Strategic Public Bodies

Village Renewal Measure:

This measure aims to support the drafting and update of integrated village plans and also for the capital investment to implement actions identified in village plans; support will be limited to within the village development limits (within 30 mile zone) of the village.

List of eligible villages can be found on our website ( or by using the link below-


Eligible Applicants – Council or Council in partnership with either Community / Voluntary Sector


The Expression of Interest (EOI) is a MANDATORY part of the application process – only those who submit an EoI and are eligible will be invited to attend a future funding workshop and submit a formal application under a closed call.


Expression of Interests must be submitted by Friday 14th October 2016 at 4pm to Please go to the applications page of our website for further information or click on the links below-

Basic Services

Village Renewal


To discuss any potential project ideas or the further pre-requisites required please contact the SOAR (ABC) office and speak with either Elaine Cullen on 028 3831 2588, Maria Magennis on 028 3831 2578 or Emma O’Carroll on 028 3831 2583

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