FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
SECAD staff will advise you on the development of your idea and also put you in contact with the necessary expertise you may require from other agencies. We also have a comprehensive knowledge of all the programmes and schemes available and will advise you on how to access these. SECAD offers capital Grants to eligible projects which fulfil the criteria of the Rural Development Programme. SECAD also offers business planning support.
Eligible projects should have some or all of the following features:
> They should be innovative
> Generate economic activity
> Be of benefit to the community
> Identify a market for the product/service
> Should not result in displacement of existing jobs
Whether your project is only at the idea stage or may have developed further, you can telephone and arrange to meet one of our Development Officers or for them to call to you to discuss your proposed project.
Part of our job at SECAD is to advise people on all other schemes and programmes currently available. We welcome any enquiries and if we cannot help we will put you in contact with the agency which may be better suited to assist your project.
No. You must apply under the relevant scheme. This is to ensure that all schemes are fully utilised and also in the interest of securing real added value under the Rural Development Programme as required by the European Commission.
No. A project may not receive aid from the Rural Development Programme and other public grant schemes and programmes.
The main grants available are for Capital, Marketing, Technical Support and Training.
> Diversification into Non-Agricultural Activities
> Support for Business Creation & Development
> Encouragement of Tourism Activities
> Basic Services for the Economy & Rural Population
> Village & Countryside Renewal & Development
> Conservation & Upgrading of the Rural Heritage
> Training & Information
RATES OF AID:
> Capital Projects (Individual / Company) – 50%
> Capital Projects (Community) – 75%
> Analysis & Development (Individual / Company) – 75%
> Analysis & Development (Community) – 90%
> Training Courses – 100%
> Training Capital/ICT (Community) – 75%
> Training Facilities/Equipment – 50%
All grant aid is payable to a maximum of €150,000 except in the case of Analysis & Development, which is payable to a maximum of €30,000. However, in exceptional circumstances and subject to prior written approval by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (DCRGA), grant aid up to €200,000 may be awarded. Also, in exceptional circumstances, and subject to prior written approval by the DCRGA, grand aid up to €500,000 may be awarded to non-commercial community projects.
> Support for mainstream agricultural and fishing activity
> Traditional farm buildings are excluded from the upgrading and renovation of relevant derelict buildings
> Public utilities such as water, sewage and major road works
> Mainstream activities of sports organisations and bodies
> Race horses and sport horses (with the exception of ancillary activities for the provision of related services)
> Greyhound industry
> Conservation and protection of National Monuments, as defined under the National Monuments Acts 1930-2004
> Mainstream education and courses of instruction or training which form part of normal education programmes at secondary or higher levels
> Employment related costs
> Purchase of land or buildings
> Loans and working capital e.g. stock, animal feed, office supplies, insurance
> Normal business expenses
> Services e.g. hairdressing, restaurants, pubs, hotels
> Healthcare activities (including nursing homes)
> Golf Clubs
> Conventional motor vehicles including cars, vans, buses, industrial / farm / construction vehicles
> Group water schemes
> Rural Resettlement
> Residential Housing/Accommodation
> Conventional Retail Outlets or Distribution Operators
> Completed Application Form (available from SECAD)
This will contain various sections similar to the headings you will use in your business plan eg. your background, qualifications and experience, background to the project, description of the proposed project, any innovative aspects,assessment of demand including market research undertaken, marketing plan, outline of costs, employment created /
sustained, accounts (historic / projected), Data Protection Act consent form
> Business Plan / Community Plan
This should accompany all enterprise applications and large scale community project applications
> Financial Plan (incl. Accounts)
This should include income and expenditure, cash flow projections etc. for new enterprises as well as audited accounts for existing enterprises. Larger scale community projects will also be required to provide financial projections etc.
> VAT Status
If you are not registered for VAT you must provide a letter from the Revenue Commissioners stating this.
These are required to back up each item you wish to purchase. Depending on the product being purchased / service provided, the required no. of quotes may / may not be available. In this case, evidence must be provided to show that you sought as many as possible. A Quotation Schedule must be completed. The current thresholds for quotations are:
Up to €5,000 – 1 quote €5001-€50,000 – 3 quotes Over €50,001 – 5 quotes
> Evidence of title / leasehold (where required)
This must be provided for capital projects involving land / buildings. A lease must be in place for a minimum of five years from the date of the grant payment.
> Planning Permission or other approvals (where required)
A copy of these approvals should accompany your application
> Tax Clearance Certificates
For projects receiving over €10,000 in grant aid a valid Tax Clearance Cert must be available at the time of payment. Suppliers of products / services over €10,000 must also have a valid Tax Clearance Cert available. Where a project receives a grant up to €10,000, a statement outlining that the project promoters / service providers’ tax affairs are in order will suffice.
An eligible application is first evaluated by an Evaluation Committee, with a recommendation being forwarded to the Board of Directors for final decision. If a project is approved by the Board, you will receive a letter of offer and contract.
Project works may only commence after the project has been approved, the promoter has received the letter of offer and contract and SECAD has received formal acceptance of this offer of grant aid. If works commence prior to acceptance of the offer, the project (or clearly identified phase of project) will then be deemed ineligible and the contract will be null and void.
Voluntary labour is acceptable as a source of private matching funding for community based projects. The donation of buildings, equipment or services free of charge or at a nominal cost as part of the project may be considered as private matching funding for community groups only. To do this, all work and the hours involved must be broken down in detail. This must be included with the application. Project meetings cannot be accepted as voluntary labour. At least 10% of matching funding must be in cash.
Grant payments may only be made on completion of the project (or in exceptional circumstances, a phased payment may be made when the project is at least 30% complete). Original paid invoices, receipts etc as per payment checklist (which will be supplied by SECAD) must be submitted. Approval from relevant authorities as to the quality of work must be received and an inspection by SECAD to ensure the projects satisfactory completion must be undertaken. The time limit is generally up to 12 months.