Government Encourages Final Bids for Rural Business Growth Grants
The Rural Development Programme for England (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.
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.
Over £50 million of government funding is still available, with just over a week left before applications close. The government is encouraging rural businesses, start-ups and enterprises to apply for grants from £20,000 up to £750,000 to boost productivity, create local jobs and increase tourism.
So far, the scheme has seen around £110 million awarded to 625 projects across England, creating almost 4,000 new jobs in rural communities since 2015.
The funding can help pay for constructing or improving buildings and buying new equipment and machinery. 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.
To apply, interested parties need to send an Expression of Interest (EOI) form to the Rural Payments Agency outlining how they meet the criteria for the scheme by midnight on 16 February 2020. Successful applicants will then be invited to submit a full application.
Rural Payments Agency Chief Executive Paul Caldwell said:
‘Our rural enterprises are at the heart of the economy and this fund is helping grow these businesses, create jobs and improve economic opportunities in rural communities.
‘With the deadline fast approaching, I would urge all rural businesses to look into what this scheme could do for them now – whether you’re a start-up, a well-established operation or a farm looking to diversify.’