Rural development - support and assistance

We believe that housing and rural development go hand-in-hand. Rural development is of limited value if there are no decent homes for people living in rural areas. However decent housing is of limited value if it is not supported by a thriving economy and a vibrant, sustainable community.

We are involved in a range of activities to support rural communities. These include:

  • carrying out home improvements
  • supporting and promoting community development
  • providing community funding
  • supporting the provision of social and affordable housing

Our Rural Strategy and Action Plan (2016-2020) details how we will continue to support rural communities.    It also highlights our links with key partners. These include:

Village Catalyst Grant Scheme

The Village Catalyst grant scheme is a partnership initiative between the Department for Communities (DfC), the Department for Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs the Architectural Heritage Fund, and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

Applications are invited from charities, social enterprise and other not for profit groups in rural villages of less than 5,000 people, who want to tackle rural poverty and social isolation in their area, by developing a sustainable use for a disused historic building in their village.

The programme builds on a 3-year pilot which resulted in 4 projects being developed. 

Support is available for communities to:

  • carry out viability work (up to £10k)
  • develop their plans (up to £20k)
  • deliver their project (up to £200k)

To be eligible, the building must be listed or within a conservation area. For further information please contact:

Rural Community Awards