£35m growth programme opened up to rural businesses
Rural Payment Agency (RPA) has announced a tremendous opportunity to help rural businesses and farms fool-proof their businesses in the wake of Brexit.
Expressions of interest for The Rural Growth Programme open on November 4 running through to February 16 2020.
The 40% grant funding is available to fund projects which create new jobs in the local area, boost rural tourism, encourage business diversification and rural start-up businesses and further invest in state-of-the-art equipment.
The RPA, who administers the grants, has reported that the scheme has previously granted £99 million to 546 businesses across England, creating 3771 new jobs in rural areas. There may be up to £50 million available through the programme depending on the quality of the applications
Robert Jauneika, chartered surveyor for the North East and Yorkshire office of H&H Land & Estates, responded to the positive announcement:
“We are pleased to see that the Government has announced they have made available a grant of £35 million for rural businesses across the country to create new jobs, boost tourism and create growth in rural areas.
“In real terms, this means that for farming clients, there is potentially up to £175,000 cash injection on offer for the right project and a minimum of £20,000, which is a lower threshold than previously. This has been introduced to make it more accessible to smaller and micro-businesses to gain grants for their projects.”
This next round of funding aims to boost the farming economy in order to allow local areas to prosper. It is a real opportunity for the farming community to look at their businesses and consider expansion or diversification into new areas and take advantage of current trends in tourism and other opportunities that can provide wider benefits to the local community.
Beyond the February deadline for expressions of interest, eligible projects will then be requested to submit a full application.
Robert added: “I would encourage any rural business owner to consider putting in an expression of interest for this funding pot, under three potential routes; rural tourism infrastructure, food processing and business development. It is a great opportunity to diversify your farming business and is a very welcome development for the agricultural industry moving forward.
“In the last round of the rural growth funding we were successful with a number of applications to help fund rural businesses, securing the full £175,000 grant funding for one business investing into their campsite. This grant funding is an exciting chance to invest into your business and help generate further income streams in the wake of Brexit. “
Agricultural businesses are being urged by the Government to submit expressions of interest as soon as possible to allow enough time to complete a full application.