Led by ABC Council, in conjunction with the Department for Communities and Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, the grant scheme launched last summer and offered local businesses the opportunity to apply for financial assistance of up to £20,000 to address some of the operational challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
With a grant award of over £16,000, Elmfield Estate, which features a Scottish Baronial style house and 18th century courtyards, invested in a range of event equipment and furniture including benches, folding tables, bistro tables, chairs, outdoor heating, lighting and canvas coverings.
The new additions enable the unique event destination to accommodate everything from corporate events, conferences to private dining and weddings in a Covid safe, comfortable and welcoming environment.
“It is such a pleasure to visit and experience the beautiful and tranquil surroundings of Elmfield Estate,” commented Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr.
“I am delighted to see the tangible benefits council’s Covid-19 Revitalisation and Recovery Grant Scheme is making across the borough. Adding real value to Elmfield’s offering these new items of furniture and equipment will go a long way to help the business adjust and adapt to the needs of their customers while operating safely within the current guidelines – ultimately helping ensure their continued development and growth.”
Set in 100 acres of stunning landscaped parkland and gardens, the Elmfield Estate also welcomes individuals and groups for heritage tours and wellness events aimed at nourishing the mind, body and soul.
Minister Poots commented:
“I am pleased to have provided £2.3m from my Department’s Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation Programme to the Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Scheme. There was a high level of demand for this grant aid support and I am delighted that it continues to assist rural businesses invest in equipment and facilities that will provide a safe environment for their customers. Rural businesses are key to ensuring the sustainability of our rural communities and I want to encourage people to shop local and support local businesses when they can. I know that our businesses are doing all they can to make their environment as safe and convenient as possible”.
Founder of Elmfield Estate, Jane Shaw commented:
“The grant supported Elmfield to make use of the large outside stable yard for socially distanced outdoor events including the launch of a monthly wholefood and wellbeing market. The stable yard now has a tented covering with lighting, heating and outdoor furniture to ensure an enjoyable experience by our visitors in all weather conditions. We are hoping to attract many people from across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to enjoy the new space.”
Receiving 1,000 applications, the Covid-19 Revitalisation and Recovery Grant Scheme has invested over £1.1 million into local rural and urban businesses to date – awarding 125 grants to help fund projects and equipment to support safe trading and social distancing requirements.