Tuesday, 31 December 2013 13:06

£9m fund for rural Lincolnshire

Written by  Ruralcity Media
£9m fund for rural Lincolnshire

RURAL businesses in Lincolnshire are set to benefit from nearly £9m in European funding.

The Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership has been allocated £8,782,191 from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

Funding will be used to help stimulate growth, develop skills and boost the local economy through rural businesses.

The award comes from a pot of £177 million being divided between LEPs. It is the eighth highest allocation to be made to the 39 LEPs operating in England. It will be available for businesses to access between 2015 and 2020.

Greater Lincolnshire LEP manager Ruth Carver said: "This is an important allocation for us to get and one we worked hard for, so we are delighted with this award."

The Greater Lincolnshire LEP works to improve the economic climate across Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire.

Ms Carver said: "We invested a lot of time in lobbying on a national level to make it clear that Greater Lincolnshire, as a largely rural region, deserved to be given an amount which reflected our needs.

"This funding will go a long way towards securing the economic future of our area, allowing us to build and strengthen the local economy in a sustainable way.

"We look forward to working with our partners in the private and public sector to write and deliver a plan for growth."

Final details on how the fund will be spent are still being drawn up.

But it is expected that the money will be used to develop knowledge and skills in rural areas and fund new and developing rural businesses not connected to agriculture.

It will also fund small-scale renewable and broadband investments improving infrastructure as well as supporting tourism activities in rural areas.

This latest round of funding comes on top of an award of around £110m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF) announced in June.

That money, due to be handed down between 2014 and 2020, will be used to provide training schemes, support local businesses and enable economic development projects, such as the creation of business premises.

Lincolnshire County Council and the Greater Lincolnshire LEP are currently drawing up a strategy on how to make best use of the money.

It is anticipated that eligible local projects will be invited to bid for a share of the funding from spring 2014.

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