Chance to Breathe Fresh Life into Your Community
A COMMUNITY group near Dungannon has today been offered a Lottery grant of £50,000 to run a social enterprise that will help to breathe new life into their rural village.
The money comes from the Big Lottery Fund’s Village SOS scheme, which is supporting rural communities across the UK to come together to improve facilities, services and opportunities for local people.
The Big Lottery Fund is urging other rural communities with populations of less than 3,000 across Northern Ireland to the make the most of the funding scheme before it closes on Tuesday 12th September.
Grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 are available for enterprising projects from community-run shops and pubs to energy or transport schemes, and craft or food projects. For more information visit: www.villagesos.org.uk
Aughintober Regeneration plans to use the funding to create a Digital Communications Skills business in Castlecaulfield, near Dungannon, which will provide jobs for unemployed young people in the local area.
The social enterprise will employ three to four young people who offer IT and communications advice and support to local rural businesses, improving their websites and helping to set up and maintain social media pages such as Facebook and Twitter that will raise their profile and help them reach new customers.
The money the businesses pay for the service will go back into paying the young people’s wages, training more young people and paying for equipment such as computers and office furniture.
“The recession has had a big impact on our rural village,” explained Chair Ian Cuddy. “We only have a few basis shops and a pub here. This means that young people here can’t get jobs and they end up leaving to find employment in London or even Australia. We are losing them.”
“We recognised that there is a gap in the IT and social media market in the surrounding rural area. A number of local businesses recognise the benefits of using social media and how it can help to publicise their services, but they don’t have the skills to use it.
“This funding from the Big Lottery Fund will kick start the business by paying for us to hire offices in the villages and buy computers and broadband access and practical things like office furniture.”
Frank Hewitt, Big Lottery Fund NI Chair, said: “Village SOS is a unique opportunity to apply for funding to run community-led social enterprises. We are delighted to announce this funding offer for Aughintober Regeneration’s innovative project which is testament to the strength and creativity that exists in this rural community.”
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Weather for Dungannon
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 4 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North west