Thursday, 05 December 2013 11:32

Last chance for rural business grants

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Last chance for rural business grants

BUSINESSES across Devon and Somerset are being urged to submit rural grant applications before a deadline early next month.

Over £600,000 has already been allocated from the £1m Heart of the South West Rural Enterprise Grant (REG) fund which was launched in January 2013.

Administered by Devon County Council, funds have been allotted to 19 businesses across the area with the remaining funding due to be allocated in early March 2014.

The grants have to be used to aid business development and create jobs. The application deadline is early January 2014.

Businesses have used the money in a variety of ways – to update machinery, automate production processes or purchase new equipment.

Designed to boost growth and create jobs throughout the area, the Rural Enterprise Grant is in addition to the government's £2.9m investment in the region's Rural Growth Network.

Around 90% of businesses across Devon and Somerset are micro businesses and the RGN is expected to create around 1,300 new jobs.

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council cabinet member for economy and growth said: "This grant has huge potential to boost the economy in the area."

Rural enterprises with fewer than ten employees are eligible to apply for the business grants, but applicants must meet 60% of project costs, with the grant covering a maximum of 40%.

Devon County Council's successful bid for £1m from Defra was achieved in partnership with the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

LEP chief executive Chris Garcia said: "This funding is designed to help rural businesses to grow, creating and safeguarding jobs throughout the area."

For details, visit the grants section of the LEP website or contact an advisor at the Business Information Point by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 0330 1000338.

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