Annie rules the roost on market day

ANNIE Murphy, from Youghal, first approached South & East Cork Area Development Ltd (SECAD) in 2010 with the idea of selling free-range, locally produced poultry roasted fresh on-site at markets.

She received support developing a business plan and got capital support. Now Annie's Roasts successfully trades at several food markets.

Rural entrepreneurs seeking support can turn to 35 local development companies around Ireland delivering financial and other supports on behalf of the Irish Government and the EU Commission. Their main funding programme is the Rural Development Programme, a follow-on to the LEADER programmes which started in the early 1990s.

Since the start of the programme, over €87 million has been injected into the Irish rural economy by the programme with over 3,320 separate enterprises receiving grant aid. Grant aid may be available up to 75% of an enterprise’s eligible expenditure.

The range of businesses funded is vast and varied.

* If you have an idea that might be eligible for grant aid, go to www.ildn.ie

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