Rural Micro Capital Grant Scheme (RMCGS) 2024/2025 Letter of Offer Terms and Conditions

General Terms and Conditions of grant

Please read this document carefully before accepting your Letter of Offer.

Do not accept the Letter of Offer if you cannot comply with the
Terms and Conditions outlined below.

1 Definition of words and expressions used in your Letter of Offer

“Agent” means an organisation working on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) (NI).

“Project Promoter” means your organisation.

“DAERA” means the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (NI) DAERA

“The Scheme” means the Rural Micro Grant Scheme 2024/2025 which operates as one element of DAERA’s Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation Framework.

“Grant Aid” means the Rural Micro Grant Scheme 2024/2025 financial assistance specified in your Letter of Offer.

“Letter of Offer” means the letter which these terms and conditions apply to, setting out the Project for which all financial assistance received by the ‘Project Promoter’ from DAERA will be expended.

“Asset” means any asset (item of financial value) of the Project Promoter in respect of which any payment of Grant Aid has been made under your Letter of Offer.

“Eligible Expenditure” means the sums expended by the Project Promoter in carrying out the Project and agreed by DAERA for the purpose of payment of Grant Aid and as detailed in the Schedule of Eligible Expenditure attached at Annex 1 of your Letter of Offer.

“Schedule of Eligible Expenditure” means the items approved for grant aid, as detailed in Annex 1 of your Letter of Offer.

“Project” means the Project as set out in the Project Promoter’s application for Grant Aid under the Rural Micro Grant Scheme 2024/2025

"Property” means all the buildings, equipment, furniture and other assets owned or used by the Project Promoter in connection with the Project.

“Irregularity” means any departure from the operation of any agreement between the Project Promoter and DAERA.

2 Pre-Payment Conditions

DAERA shall be under no obligation to make any payment of Grant Aid under your Letter of Offer until the Project Promoter has:

2.1 attended a Letter of Offer Workshop 

2.2 complied with the guidance set out in respect of claiming grant aid including submitting a completed online claim form; and submitted a satisfactorily completed End of Project report.

3 Payment of Grant Aid

3.1 DAERA agrees in principle to provide from 50% to a maximum of 85% of total eligible expenditure between £500 and £2,000 to deliver the Project as detailed in your approved application. The actual value of grant awarded is detailed in your Letter of Offer.

3.2 Any expenditure incurred must be eligible in terms of the Rural Micro Grant Scheme 2024/2025 and in accordance with Article 4 of The Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Northern Ireland) Order 1994. The onus is on the Project Promoter to ensure that costs claimed are eligible and correct.

3.3 The start date for the Project will be the date of this Letter of Offer, provided DAERA has received your completed Acceptance Form, within 28 days from this date. Only eligible expenditure incurred by the Project Promoter after the project start date will be considered for Grant Aid. Any items purchased before the Project Start Date, shall be deemed ineligible for payment of grant aid.

3.4 Following issue of the Letter of Offer, there is no scope to make changes to projects.

3.5 You must complete your project and submit your grant claim by 25 October 2024. You must have paid for all costs associated with your project within this period. 

3.6 In no circumstances will this project end date be extended.

3.7 Subject to compliance with the conditions of this Letter of Offer, DAERA shall make available to the Project Promoter, Grant Aid from 50% to a maximum of 85% of total eligible expenditure between £500 and £2,000

All items of expenditure must be within the scope of those listed on your application and as detailed on the Schedule of Eligible Expenditure, Annex 1 of your Letter of Offer. Grant will not be paid against items which are not detailed.

3.8 Grant Aid will be paid retrospectively, following submission of an appropriately completed official Claim Form, satisfactory supporting documentation e.g. uploaded invoices or receipts, relevant original bank statement(s). For any project where an applicant is, for any reason, unable to follow the procurement guidelines, expenditure can only be considered eligible if Rural Affairs TRPSI Health and Wellbing Branch were consulted before the goods are purchased.

3.9 Please note all Project expenditure must be paid for by debit /credit card, electronic bank transaction or cheque – cash expenditure will NOT be accepted under any circumstances.

3.10 DAERA will make all payments via Bankers Automated Clearing System (BACS) to the Project Promoter’s bank account. DAERA may use these account details for other legitimate purposes, including preventing and detecting crime and in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

3.11 Claims for Grant Aid must be submitted online by 25 October 2024. DAERA shall be under no obligation to make payment of Grant Aid in respect of any claim for payment of Grant Aid received after this date.

3.12 You must provide original Bank or Building Society statement(s) with your claim as proof that the expenditure has cleared through your organisation’s bank account. Where a personal Debit/Credit card has been used for payment the organisation’s and the individual’s original bank statements should be supplied with the claim as proof that the expenditure has cleared through both bank accounts. These statement(s) must include evidence of payment for the goods/items purchased and also the payment from the organisation’s account back into the person(s) account to demonstrate full traceability.

3.13 Grant Aid shall only be used for the purposes of implementing the Project as per the items detailed within your original application form and as detailed on the Schedule of Eligible Expenditure, Annex 1 of your Letter of Offer. In the event that the grant aid up to the amount detailed in the Letter of Offer is not fully spent, the unspent balance will not be made available to the Project.

3.14 Payments made by DAERA under the Scheme are subject to the availability of National funding. Should such funding be suspended or terminated DAERA may accordingly suspend or terminate payments to Project Promoters.

3.15 Any over-payment of Grant Aid shall be repaid by the Project Promoter to DAERA immediately on receipt of a written demand from DAERA, or immediately upon the Project Promoter becoming aware that the Grant Aid has been over-paid, whichever first occurs.

4 General conditions

The Project Promoter shall:-

4.1 not make any alterations to the Project without the prior written approval of DAERA, nor make any change to the use the Project as specified in the application form;

4.2 not seek or make application for any Grant Aid from any other Government Department, public body or agency in respect of expenditure for which Grant Aid is or may become payable under the terms of this Letter of Offer;

4.3 be aware that if you have received grant aid from another funder including DAERA, this grant must NOT duplicate funds claimed under that grant;

4.4 maintain its records (financial and otherwise) in such a way as to clearly identify all expenditure and income related to the Project;

4.5 in the case of any dispute arising on the interpretations of the conditions contained within this Letter of Offer, accept that the decision of DAERA shall be final and binding;

4.6 allow DAERA, its Agent(s), DAERA Internal Audit and their agents / representatives the right to inspect the Project at any time, up to six years plus another year from the date on which the last payment of Grant Aid was made, and to require such further information to be supplied as they think fit and to be provided with such documents or items as they shall require. The Project Promoter shall ensure that all original vouchers and documents relating to expenditure on the Project are retained and kept safely until the expiry of this six years plus one year from date of last payment control period;

4.7 provide DAERA with such documents, information and papers relating to the Project as DAERA may from time to time request and afford DAERA, its servants or agents, DAERA Internal Audit, such facilities for the purpose of inspecting the Project and all invoices, receipts, accounting records and any other documents relating to expenditure of Grant Aid as DAERA may from time to time require for audit purposes;

4.8 maintain in good condition all property, equipment, machinery, furniture and assets of every kind owned or used by the Project Promoter in connection with the Project;

4.9 fully insure and keep insured the Project and all assets associated with it against all risks appropriate to the business of the Project Promoter including public and employer liability;

4.10 acknowledge the DAERA Rural Micro Grant Scheme 2024/2025 and its administration by its Agent for this Scheme in all publicity, publications or events arising from your project using DAERA and its Agent for this Scheme’s logos, if appropriate.

4.11 comply with all relevant UK and NI legislation;

4.12 indemnify DAERA and its Agent for this Scheme against all actions, proceedings, costs, claims, demands and liabilities whatsoever arising from all or any activities associated with the Project;

4.13 indemnify DAERA and its Agent for this Scheme against any misuse or negligence in the use of the funds grant aided;

4.14 procure all capital goods for the Project on the basis of competitive quotations or tenders. The following guidelines on estimated values and type of quotation must be strictly adhered to:-

Estimated values Up to £4,000 (Maxmum  total project costs under RMCGS 2024/2025)
Action & minimum number At least 2 price-checks / quotations from different suppliers.NB: Online quotes (e.g., Amazon)  ensure they are not from same supplier and the supplier name is clearly displayed.
  • Quotes should be 'like-for-like'; like for like refers to the specification relating to the item. e.g. a TV detail would include like for like screen size.
  • Quotes can include delivery costs as an additional cost. Where delivery costs are being claimed, these must be detailed on all relevant quotes.
  • The lowest quotation should be selected with corresponding costs detailed on the application form. DAERA will reimburse at the cost of the lowest quotation.

5 Disposal of assets

5.1 If any Grant Aided assets are sold, leased or changed from the purpose intended within a control period of six years plus one year from the date on which the last payment of Grant Aid was made, the Grant Aid must be repaid in full or in part to be determined by the Department; the amount repaid to be proportionate to the value of the aided assets sold, leased or changed and to the unexpired part of the control period.

6 Repayment of financial assistance on default if:-

6.1 the Project Promoter fails to comply with any of the terms and conditions contained in this Letter of Offer and any such breach is incapable of remedy or if capable of remedy remains unremedied for more than thirty days after written notice by DAERA;

6.2 the Project Promoter passes an effective resolution or an Order of the Court is made for the winding-up of the Project Promoter; being an individual(s) becoming bankrupt;

6.3 the Project Promoter is for any reason no longer able to implement the Scheme;

6.4 an administration order or petition for bankruptcy order is presented in respect of the Project Promoter;

6.5 the Project Promoter, being a Company, is unable to pay its debts within the meaning of Article 103 of the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 or, being an individual, is unable to pay his debts within the meaning of Article 242 of the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989;

6.6 any information given to DAERA by or on behalf of the Project Promoter in connection with the application for Grant Aid is found to be false or misleading or there has been a failure to disclose any material fact which may have had a bearing on DAERA's consideration of the application;
then on the happening of any such event or events, DAERA shall be under no obligation to make any further payment(s) of Grant Aid and the Project Promoter shall, forthwith on written demand by DAERA, repay to DAERA the full amount of Grant Aid made to the Project Promoter hereunder.

6.7 Any failure, delay or omission by DAERA to exercise any right or remedy to which it is entitled by virtue of this paragraph shall not be construed as a waiver of such right or remedy.

7 Monitoring and evaluation requirements

7.1 Performance of the Project will be monitored by an End of Project Report (Annex 5) which must be submitted with the claim for Grant Aid. The number of people you estimate your project will contribute to improving the lives of (beneficiaries) will be based on the number of people you forecast on your application whom you believed where likely to benefit from the completed project.

7.2 Failure to provide an End of Project Report and / or failure to demonstrate satisfactory completion of the project may result in non-payment of Grant Aid.

8 Equality Legislation

8.1 Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 places statutory equality duties on public authorities. These duties require DAERA to have due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity between persons of a different religious belief, political opinion, racial group, age, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, persons with a disability and persons without. DAERA is also required to have due regard to the desirability of promoting good relations between persons of different religious belief, political opinion or racial group.

8.2 Project Promoters are also required to comply with the equality duties as set out in Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and, as required, demonstrate to DAERA how these duties have been met.

9 Fraud

9.1 Project Promoters must inform DAERA immediately if fraud or attempted fraud is suspected.

9.2 All incidents of fraud or attempted fraud either reported to DAERA or discovered by their staff or agents through the monitoring and verification process will be reported to DAERA for full investigation and possible legal action.

10 Data Protection and Freedom of Information issues

10.1 DAERA and our delivery agents take data protection and freedom of information issues seriously. We take care to ensure that any personal information supplied is dealt with in a way which complies with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation. This means that any personal information you supply will be processed principally for the purpose for which it has been provided. However, DAERA may also use it for other legitimate purposes in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 and Freedom of Information legislation. These include:

  • Occupational health and welfare;
  • Compilation of statistics;
  • Disclosure to other organisations when required by law to do so;
  • Disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 where such disclosure is in the public interest;
  • The prevention and detection of fraud or maladministration (e.g. The Comptroller Auditor General and HM Revenue & Customs).

For further details on your privacy see the DAERA Privacy Statement using the link below:-

11 Other conditions

11.1 The Project Promoter shall not, without the prior written consent of DAERA, transfer any of its rights or obligations under this Letter of Offer, within a period of two years from the date on which the last payment of Grant Aid was made.

11.2 The Project Promoter must consult with DAERA about any publicity or public announcements associated with the Project. DAERA reserves the right to publicise details of financial assistance. Also, where reasonably feasible, acknowledgement of the financial contribution from DAERA should be included in any brochures, leaflets, advertisements or any other publicity material produced by the Project Promoter in connection with the Project.

11.3 Any letter, notice or demand by DAERA shall be sufficiently served on the Project Promoter if it is delivered by hand and left at the Project Promoter’s last known address or sent by post addressed to the Project Promoter at that last known address.

11.4 The Project Promoter shall comply with and, in the letting of any contract to which the Project relates, implement the provisions of all enactments, regulations, statutory provisions and any other laws applicable in Northern Ireland including, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, those relating to equal opportunities, fair employment, health and safety and European Community legislation in existence during the lifetime of the project.

11.5 No aspect of the Project being funded shall be party political in intention, use or presentation; or be likely to be perceived as discriminatory, for example, on grounds of religion, colour, race, gender or disability.

11.6 The Project Promoter must inform DAERA should any Conflict of Interest, however arising, occur between the Project Promoter and any other organisation, person or employee associated in any way with the delivery of the Project. The onus to disclose any such Conflict of Interest, in writing, to DAERA is solely the responsibility of the Project Promoter and failure to do so may lead to the withdrawal of this Letter of Offer and/or the recovery of any monies paid.

11.7 The Project Promoter is required as a condition of Grant Aid to participate fully in DAERA’s networking arrangements, most commonly by permitting visits to their Projects.

11.8 DAERA may make available to other Departments / Agencies, any information provided in this application to other Departments / Agencies, for legitimate purposes, including the prevention and detection of crime and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and Freedom of Information Act 2000.

12 Withdrawal of application

12.1 The Project Promoter can withdraw their application for financial assistance at any time unless Condition 12.2 below applies. The notice of withdrawal must be made in writing to DAERA. A withdrawal will put the Project promoter into the position they were in before they submitted their application. Consequently the Project promoter must repay any financial assistance already paid by DAERA in respect of the Project.

12.2 However, where the Project promoter either

  • a) has already been informed of an irregularity, or,
  • b) has been given notice of the intention to carry out an inspection (see Condition 4.6) and the subsequent inspection reveals irregularities, then withdrawal will not be authorised.
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