Sunday, 02 August 2015 19:03

£24m rural growth programme opens

Written by  Ruralcity Media
£24m rural growth programme opens

THE government has opened a £24m scheme to create more opportunities for rural businesses and communities.

Defra minister George Eustice said the Growth Programme would benefit rural communities by unlocking the huge potential for growth in the countryside.

Applications for grants for projects that the government says will make a big difference to the rural economy officially opened on Monday (27 July).

Local priorities have been established across the country to direct funding at initiatives Defra says will bring the biggest benefits.

Opportunities could include helping people to expand or set up or new businesses, developing new food processing facilities and promoting tourism, said Mr Eustice.

"By helping our rural entrepreneurs to achieve their full potential, the roll out of the Growth Programme is great news for our rural communities," he said.

"This £6.3m of funding is going to support businesses, bring high-quality jobs to rural areas, boost rural productivity and grow the local economy."

Individual grants are worth upwards of £35,000 depending on the individual project. They will be offered in nine Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).

LEPs are partnerships between local authorities and local businesses across England.

A further two rounds of the Growth Programme are expected in August and September. The remaining LEP areas will be invited over the next few months to apply for grants to help them support their local rural communities.

This £24 million is part of a package of initiatives worth £450m over the next six years to unlock the economic potential of England's rural areas.

Spending under the Growth Programme, Countryside Productivity and LEADER initiatives are part of the Rural Development Programme which will inject some £3.5bn into the rural economy by 2020.

The Growth Programme is a competitive and targeted scheme.

Applications will be scored against a range of criteria, including local priorities. Applicants who address these priorities are more likely to receive funding.

For more details, visit the government's website page about Growth Programme grants for the rural economy.

People in this conversation

  • I set myself up as a web design company during the financial crash of 2008 and we have been going on since without issue. We have never had any grants or other help. I think for a lot of people like me when you look at the question of grants, the work needed to find out, apply and get is simply too much hassle. What would be good, would be a service where you could chat about your specific business and get advice on how to progress it...

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