Minister sees benefits of Rural Funding Scheme on visit to Anahilt

Date published: 29 June 2022

Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots MLA has visited Anahilt in County Down to see first-hand the benefits that grant aid from his Department’s Rural Micro Capital Grants Scheme (RMCGS) 2021 has provided to young people in the community.

Minister Poots is pictured with Anahilt Primary School Principal Andy Smyth and pupils (left to right) Adam Johnston, Johnny Gibson and Henry Spencer.

Anahilt Primary School received funding from DAERA’s 2021 Rural Micro Capital Grant Scheme, as a result of a successful application by the Anahilt Primary School Parent Teacher Association (PTA). The PTA are a registered charity which host events for the Anahilt community, bringing people together to aid and support the education and well-being of children in the locality.

In addition to this funding, Anahilt Primary School also received £8,250 from DAERA’s School Garden Pollinator Scheme to create a wildflower area; plant pollinator plants and to provide seating areas for pupils and staff to enjoy the green areas.  The school is also going to purchase gardening tools to maintain the garden.

Minister Poots said: “As a result of funding from my Department’s 2021 Rural Micro Capital Grant Scheme, the PTA has been able to purchase four iPad's and a sensory lamp to provide increased health and wellbeing for those in the community with additional needs. This PTA project is a wonderful example of supporting local communities to address needs they identify within their own area and fostering a community spirit from the projects supported from my Department through the Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation Programme.”

Minister Poots also announced that the Rural Micro Capital Grant Scheme for 2021 has now completed, saying: “In total 672 projects have been funded, with £778,000 invested to projects focussing on the three key themes identified as contributory factors to poverty and social isolation - the modernisation (of existing premises/assets); Information and Communications Technology; and Improvements to health and wellbeing. Projects like these provide tremendous benefits to local rural community and voluntary groups.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. Anahilt Primary School PTA is a registered charity which hosts events in the community to bring people together to aid and support the education of children in the locality. Their project, the purchase of four iPad's and a sensory lamp, is focused on health and wellbeing for those in the community with autism, and other additional needs. Their RMCGS grant was £1,462 from Total Project costs of £1,828.
  2. Anahilt PS is one of 301 schools across both urban and rural areas which are set to benefit from DAERA’s School Garden Pollinator Scheme, which provides grants of between £3,000 and £12,000 to improve the health of our bees and pollinators and to help protect our eco-systems.  The scheme is being delivered by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful on behalf of DAERA.
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