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Rural businesses receive £2.97 million boost

Rural villages, community groups and businesses in Lisburn Castlereagh have benefitted from investment of approximately £2.97m to revitalise the local area and created 82 jobs.

Alderman Allan Ewart MBE, Chair of Lagan Rural Partnership; Nessa O'Callaghan, Vice-Chair of Lagan Rural Partnership; Alderman Amanda Grehan Chair of Development Committee meet up with Andy Keys of Keys Brothers Horticulture Ltd which received support from the rural development grant scheme.
Alderman Allan Ewart MBE, Chair of Lagan Rural Partnership; Nessa O'Callaghan, Vice-Chair of Lagan Rural Partnership; Alderman Amanda Grehan Chair of Development Committee meet up with Andy Keys of Keys Brothers Horticulture Ltd which received support from the rural development grant scheme.

This support was provided through four funding schemes delivered by Lagan Rural Partnership under the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme.

The schemes offered capital support to rural businesses, village renewal schemes to include infrastructure and refurbishment.

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Alderman Amanda Grehan, Chair of the Development Committee, said: “The availability of funding from Lagan Rural Partnership has benefited many businesses and helped sustain employment in Lisburn Castlereagh.

“One of the outcomes of the council’s community plan is that everyone benefits from a vibrant economy.

“The £1.1m investment in capital equipment and infrastructure costs has helped 28 local businesses.

“I am pleased that as a result of the grant aid 13 businesses are now exporting their goods across the globe which has resulted in the growth of jobs in the local area.

“In terms of village renewal, the schemes in Drumbo, Aghalee, Dromara and Glenavy were made possible through a match funding investment by the council of £336,000.

“The grant aid received was over £600k towards improving local infrastructure. Aghalee became home to an outdoor gym and Dromara benefitted from a new games area for local young people to enjoy.”

Keys Brothers Horticulture Ltd, located in Hillsborough used the funding to purchase six critical pieces of machinery enabling them to service additional needs of their current customers. Keys Brothers can undertake the process of cylinder grinding and maintenance to service and repair defunct horticulture machinery.

Alderman Allan Ewart MBE, Chair of Lagan Rural Partnership, added: “It’s been exciting to see the positive impact of the overall Rural Development Programme.

“Through the four funding streams our rural businesses and communities have received help to develop and diversify, while providing improved facilities to enhance the daily lives of our residents.

“We are pleased that Lagan Rural Partnership became the first Local Action Group in Northern Ireland to successfully administer their allocation of funds under the NI Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.

“This a community-led development group exceeded the targets set in terms of economic outcomes and I thank the members who dedicated their time to support it.”

The recent rural basic services scheme has successfully delivered grant aid to seven projects across Lisburn Castlereagh aligned with the local community plan.

A combined financial assistance of over £780k allowed local projects such improvements to community halls like St. Clare’s Community Hall in Glenavy and the creation of recreational facilities such as the development of walking and cycling trails at Billy Neill MBE Country Park.

Navigation House, the former residence of the Canal Manager of the Navigation, was recently refurbished through the Co-operation Scheme.