Grant Funding Available for Rural Businesses

This month, the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) Growth Programme was launched.

There’s a pot of £120 million to be shared up into grants of a minimum of £35,000 – and you’ve got almost a year to lodge an expression of interest.

If you’ve got a business in one of the qualifying sectors, and an idea for a project that you’re thinking about delivering, then it makes sense to take advantage of this grant fund.

The RDPE Growth Programme has been established to support projects that invest in building businesses, creating new jobs and growing the economy in rural areas of England.

Grant funding can be used in a number of ways.

It can be used to help rural businesses grow and create more jobs. It can be used to help to pay for building or improving buildings and it can also be used to buy new equipment and machinery.

It also covers some of the support and infrastructure costs, if they form part of a larger project being funded. This could include:

-Architects, engineer or consultant fees.
-Buying or developing a dedicated piece of computer software.
-Patents, licences, copyrights or trademarks
-Energy-saving and resource efficiency equipment

Businesses that are carrying out projects to boost employment or bring more money into the rural economy in their LEP area of England may be eligible to apply.

Good News for Food and Tourism

Here at Jones Harris we’re particularly pleased to hear that the food processing and tourism industries will qualify for support from this fund, as both are important sectors in this area.

There are many small and micro rural businesses in these sectors in the rural areas of Fylde and Wyre, many of whom are clients of ours, and it’s encouraging that both new and existing businesses will qualify to apply for this funding.

If your business would like to take advantage but the whole process of business planning and working up a grant application seems like a huge mountain to climb, then by all means get in touch with us and we’ll talk you through the process in a no-obligation discussion.

If you decide to go ahead we can support you through the process, and put you in touch with other specialists from our huge network to help with particular areas of your project which require in-depth knowledge or support. Everything is possible – if you know who to ask!

This is also a perfect opportunity to diversify an existing business and ensure its continuity and profitability for the future.

It includes farmers who want to diversify into non-agricultural activities. Food and drink businesses which process agricultural and horticultural products may apply for the food processing strand. Projects that are commercial in nature and intended to make a profit can apply for the rural tourism infrastructure aspect of the scheme – so it’s fairly versatile.

Fine print and further information

Funding is being provided through three national calls for projects, which have been developed in collaboration with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and which are open to support food processing, business development and tourism infrastructure projects for an initial one-year period.

Grants are generally provided at a minimum level of £35,000; however, this will vary in some LEP areas. The amount which can be applied for depends on the size of the applicant’s business and where it is located.

The deadline for Expressions of Interest is midnight on 31 January 2018.

See the GOV.UK website at this link to access more information and the Expression of Interest form.

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