Rural businesses could benefit from access to £35 million in government funding to create new jobs, improve productivity, boost tourism, and unlock growth in rural areas.

The government’s Rural Growth Programme, which opened for expressions of interest on Monday 4 November, provides grants for rural start-ups and businesses to purchase equipment and machinery to grow their business or to open up opportunities for tourism.

The grants are focussed on three areas:

• Business development
• Food processing
• Rural tourism infrastructure

The threshold for minimum grants has been lowered from £35,000 to £20,000, meaning that more projects could now be eligible. 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.

The government have provided a few tips for applicants on what to focus on for their applications:

1. The aim should be to create jobs and growth in the rural economy.
2. You will need to ‘sell’ your idea to show how the grant money will benefit your project and the rural economy.
3. Do the market research to prove that there is real demand for your idea
4. Be prepared as you will need to provide detailed records and evidence.

If you would like any advice on the matter above, please do not hesitate to get in touch – 01684 325215 / 07814 033449