Ballymoney-based engineering firm DR Gates and Railings are the latest business in the Causeway Coast and Glens area to successfully draw down funding from the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme.
Set-up and managed by Damian Rodgers, the business provides an engineering and fabrication service, specialising in custom-made gates (wooden or iron, manual or electric), balconies, stairs, handrails, bannisters and balustrades.
Having applied through the Rural Business Investment Scheme, the business has been awarded £8,396.28 to assist in funding fabrication machinery to allow increased production. Mr Rodgers has already created an additional full-time job as a result.
Speaking about his successful application, he said: “I’m delighted that I’ve been able to avail of the financial support that was on offer from the Rural Development Programme. Having set-up my business just over two years ago I am always looking for new opportunities to grow the business and expand on the range of services that we provide. This new equipment combined, with an additional employee, increases our capacity significantly by lowering lead-times and improving the quality of our products.”
Councillor Mark Fielding, who is chair of the Local Action Group, added: “As Chair of Causeway Coast and Glens Local Action Group, I am very pleased that businesses from the first Call of applications to the Rural Business Investment Scheme are now reaping the benefits of their Letters of Offer. It is fantastic to see small businesses such as DR Gates and Railings receive funding for projects that boost their growth and create employment in our own Council area. I know that in the coming weeks and months we will be sharing further examples of businesses who are being given great support through the Rural Development Programme and hope that this encourages more rural businesses to come forward for assistance from the Programme.”
Causeway Coast and Glens LAG has successfully completed an assessment of all applications in Call 1 of the Rural Business Investment Scheme and a significant number of the successful applicants have now completed claims against their Letters of Offer. To date, a total of £305,458 has been spent through the scheme, which will increase over the coming months. Furthermore, the LAG Admin Unit Team are currently assessing applications made from Call 2 of the Rural Business Investment Scheme, with Call 3 expectED to open later in the year.
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