Rural Growth Programme Grants Present Huge Opportunity for Landowners

17th March 2017

Rural enterprises across the region are being urged to check their eligibility for rural grants and projects that will add value to their business. Farmers, foresters, woodland owners and other landowners could apply for a Growth Programme grant if their business creates jobs or brings money into the rural economy.

The grants are designed to help rural SME businesses grow and increase levels of employment across the region. There are three main business areas covered – business development funding for small enterprises such as farm businesses who want to diversify into non-agricultural activity. Food processing grants for the productions of agricultural and horticultural goods and rural tourism infrastructure that can provide financial support for profit and non-profit projects.

David Hume, Rural Business Consultant for George F. White, said: “So many landowners do not realise that they could be applicable to several different rural grants which will help support their diversification objectives. Such grants can help pay for constructing or improving buildings, for example, or buying new equipment or machinery. It’s definitely worth applying for grant funding as normally the minimum grant pay-out is £35,000 and the government is heavily supporting rural businesses who are creating employment opportunities and strengthening the rural economy.”

The grant rate is a maximum of 40% of total project costs (up to 100% for non-profit making projects) and works on the basis of paying £30,000 of grant money per full time employee (FTE) created.

Hume added: “It really is worth seeking expert advice to see whether a project is eligible and how best to put together a strong application as the process is competitive which means they won’t just be awarded automatically to an applicant. The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) will assess all expressions of interest to see which best meet the criteria before inviting applicants to complete a full application.

If you would like more details on how rural growth programme grants might be applicable to you and your business, please contact David Hume on davidhume@georgefwhite.co.uk  or 01665 511986.

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