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Welcome to Mark O'Keeffe & Company

South and East Cork Area Development Ltd. (SECAD)

RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME 2007-2013

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
         
How can SECAD assist you in developing an idea/project?
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.

What are the main features of an eligible grant?
Eligible grants 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

What is the first step to take in developing an idea?
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.

What agency should you contact?
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.

If your project is eligible for funding under some other scheme or programme, can you still apply for Rural Development Programme funding?
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.

Can you receive grant aid from more than one grant scheme or programme for a project?
No.  A project may not receive aid from the Rural Development Programme and other public grant schemes and programmes.

What types of grant are available and what is the maximum grant allocation?
The main grants available are for Capital, Marketing, Technical Support and Training.

MEASURES:

  • 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, grant aid up to €500,000 may be awarded to non-commercial community projects.

What activities / projects are ineligible for funding under the Rural Development Programme?

  • Support for mainstream agricultural 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
  • Conservation and protection of National Monuments, as defined under the National Monuments Acts 1930-2004
  • Courses of instruction or training which form part of normal education programmes at secondary or higher levels
  • Employment related costs
  • Second-hand Equipment
  • Purchase of Land or Buildings
  • Working Capital e.g. stock, animal feed, office supplies
  • Normal Business Expenses
  • Services e.g. hairdressing, restaurants, pubs, hotels
  • Healthcare
  • Mainstream education
  • Golf Clubs
  • Trailers
  • Group Water Schemes
  • Rural Resettlement
  • Residential Housing/Accommodation
  • Mainstream Agricultural Production
  • Conventional Retail Outlets or Distribution Operators

What information do I need to make an application?

  • 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

This should accompany all enterprise applications and larger 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.

  • Quotations

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

  • 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

How is my application assessed?
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.

How long must you wait after submitting an application to find out if it has been successful?
Provided all necessary information has been supplied, you will generally know in less than eight weeks.

When can project works commence?
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.

The members of your development group intend to carry out a lot of this work themselves. Can this be accepted as match funding? 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.

If an application is successful, how do you draw down the grant and is there a time limit on it? 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 50% 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.

For Further Information Contact:
South and East Cork Area Development Ltd,
Midleton Community Enterprise Centre
Owenacurra Business Park
Knockgriffin
Midleton
Co. Cork
Tel: 021 4613432
Fax: 021 4613808
Email: info@ecad.ie  
Website: www.eastcork.com