Council in £1m rural growth boost

RURAL businesses and organisations are to benefit from a £1m boost thanks to East Sussex County Council.

Nine projects have had their grants approved through the council's Rural Growth and Employment Fund (RuGEF).

They include initiatives put forward by businesses, organisations, groups, a college and a local council.

Amounting to more than £1m, the grants and loans will be used to help set up new businesses or expand existing ones, create new jobs and support training.

Councillor Matthew Lock, lead member for economy said: "I'm delighted that we've approved funding for the first batch of rural businesses and organisations.

"We said we would provide direct help and now we're making good on the promise."

The nine projects that have been approved (subject to contracts being signed) are:

* Beautiful Design & Print (Bexhill) – printing equipment to expand the business.
* The Fletcher Centre in Rye – to help develop a cinema and entertainment centre in Rye.
* Princes Trust – enterprise training and support for young people in rural districts.
* Tomorrow's People – Heathfield Works! – for two years to support young people develop skills and move into work.
* Tomorrow's People – Hailsham Works! – to set up and run for three years a new project to support young people  develop skills and move into work.
* Heathfield Partnership – to help convert a town centre building into business units.
* Lewes District Council – enterprise and apprenticeship support scheme.
* Plumpton College – equipment to offer training and resources for dairy and forestry/woodland industries.
* Kitchenham Farm nr Battle – towards business park expansion at Pebsham Rural Business Park.

Councillor Lock said: "It's all part of our £6m economic intervention fund designed to help business and boost our local economy.

"More RuGEF funding will be made available later next month and other grants for businesses are also on offer so I would urge firms to get in touch."

For details on grants and loans, click here.



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