Friday, 27 March 2015 11:48

Free advice for rural businesses

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Free advice for rural businesses

RURAL businesses in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire turned out in force to receive help and funding advice.

Around 100 people attended the first ever D2N2 Rural Means Business Conference on Thursday (26 March).

The free event was hosted by Rural Community Action Nottinghamshire at the Newstead Centre, in Newstead Village, Nottinghamshire.

It was organised by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), a partnership between businesses, local authorities and higher education institutions to drive economic growth in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

Those attending the event heard from expert speakers about current funding opportunities to help rural enterprises.

Opportunities include the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the LEADER funding programme for specific rural areas within the D2N2 catchment.

RCAN chief executive Rob Crowder said: "It's important for people to realise the hard work that has been going on in the background to provide rural businesses with help and funding."

Workshops discussing rural business involvement in food and drink, tourism, renewables (low carbon and sustainable energy generation) and broadband provision were also run as part of the day-long event.

Sarah Coverdale is director of Matlock-based business the Tasting Ladies, which runs tasting and sales sessions, promoting independent food and drink producers' products to the public and buyers.

She said: "The rural conference has been good for opening up your eyes to the opportunities out there."

Conference organiser Lindsay Allen, of the D2N2 Growth Hub, said: "Rural businesses are a key part of the life of the countryside and a major contributor to the economy of the D2N2 area.

"I think those who attended our event gained some real insights into the help and funding which is out there for them."

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