Southern Organisation for Action in Rural areas (SOAR) will be hosting a number of pre-application funding workshops for applicants intending to apply for the Rural Business Investment Scheme. The workshops will give an introduction to the scheme, details on eligibility criteria, advice on the application pre-requisites e.g. planning permission and business plan, how to complete the registration and application process, as well as procurement procedures.

Councillor Joe Nelson, Chairperson of SOAR in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough said, “We have been awarded £8.02 million of funding from the Rural Development Programme which is part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. This funding will be used to deliver rural development where it is needed at a local level. The first call is focused on the Rural Business Investment Scheme and offers the opportunity for both businesses and social economy enterprises the prospect of support. The LAG is delighted to invite prospective applicants to attend the workshops and welcomes the potential for them to make a real difference to the economy.”

Elaine Cullen, Programme Manager of SOAR for Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon said, “There is a wide range of support for new and existing businesses, with a strong emphasis on job creation.

“We have carefully selected a variety of venues and times for workshops to provide as much choice as possible for those who wish to attend. We have aimed the workshops at businesses and social enterprises who are investment ready and whose projects will be starting in 2016. To decide if you are investment ready please check the Investment Ready Tool Kit on the SOAR website or call 028 3831 3614.”

Workshops will provide essential information to applicants on the pre-requisites needed to support their application, namely having a business plan, match funding, planning permission if needed and quotations to support project costs. We would encourage those attending the workshops to have a clear idea of their proposed project in advance of attending.

Attendance at one of the workshops is a MANDATORY part of the application process – only those who attend will be invited to submit a formal application under a closed call.
Pre-registration for a workshop is essential as numbers at each workshop is limited.
Workshops must be attended by a representative that has authority to sign on behalf of the organisation – e.g. Business Owner or Company Director- you cannot send someone on your behalf.

A place can be reserved on one of the workshops by booking on the SOAR website or contacting Rebecca Hyland by email: or telephone 028 3831 3614.
Spaces at each workshop will be allocated on a first come first serve basis, so it is recommended that you register early to avoid disappointment.