Grants of up to £750,000 available to rural firms to boost productivity and create local jobs.
Rural businesses across the country are set to benefit from a guaranteed £35 million in government funding to create new jobs, boost tourism, and unlock growth in rural areas. This figure could be increased to £50 million if there are enough high-quality applications.
The government’s Growth Programme, which opens for expressions of interest on Monday 4 November, provides grants for rural start-ups and businesses to purchase state-of-the-art equipment and machinery to grow their business or open up opportunities for tourism.
For this funding round of the Growth Programme, the threshold for minimum grants has come down from £35,000 to £20,000, meaning that more small or micro-businesses can be eligible for a grant for their projects.
The scheme has already granted £99 million to 546 local businesses across England, creating 3,771 new jobs in rural areas.
The RDPE Growth Programme handbook is available on GOV.UK here and contains information on which projects are deemed eligible for a grant and how to apply.
Interested parties need to send an Expression of Interest form to the Rural Payments Agency, outlining how they meet the criteria for the scheme – from creating new jobs, increasing business turnover and improving productivity.
If the Rural Payments Agency considers the project to be eligible, the applicant will then be invited to submit a full application.
The deadline for all Expressions of Interest is Sunday 16 February 2020.