Poots Extends 'Bounce Back' Support Scheme Applications

A £200,000 'bounce back' support scheme for local agricultural shows is to be extended, DAERA Minister Edwin Poots has announced.

The Minister announced the deadline for applications will be extended by four weeks until 30 June during visits to the Ballymoney and Lurgan shows.

Minister Poots said: "It has been fantastic getting out and about to visit two of our very popular agricultural shows and meeting with farmers, food producers and visitors. Such shows are vital in supporting our rural communities as well as boosting tourism and the local economy.
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"Like many similar key agricultural shows, they were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic which meant they lost the opportunity to raise funds, so I am delighted that we have been able to extend the closing date for the £200,000 bounce back scheme and I would encourage organisers to submit their applications and relevant paperwork as soon as possible.

"It was great to see the shows today which were buzzing with excitement as well as showcasing our excellent local produce and livestock and I look forward to visiting many more over the coming weeks and months – all key events in the year."

Minister Poots has appointed Aled Rhys Jones to lead a Resilience Review of NI Agricultural shows. The independent review, which will map out the challenges and opportunities for the shows' sector and explore future support options is underway and is due to be completed by the end of summer.

This is the 107th Lurgan Show, with records indicating it was first held back in 1846 - making it one of the longest running established one-day shows on the island of Ireland.

The two-day Ballymoney Show, which was first held in 1902, has livestock classes as well as cooking demonstrations, competitions and trade stalls.

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