Rural businesses are being urged to act fast in order to secure grants from the recently launch Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE).
The York, North Yorkshire & East Riding Enterprise Partnership are recommending that businesses with growth plans take advantage of the new RDPE Rural Economy Grant quickly, as applications will only be accepted up until the 30th April.
Board Member Nigel Pulling, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Agricultural Society said:
There is a tight turnaround time for applications. Clearly not all businesses have growth plans on the shelf, but we want businesses that do to submit their plans to this scheme. We’ll be also be recommending this scheme to unsuccessful applicants to our own heavily oversubscribed Growing Places Fund.
The Rural Economy Grant, which is administered by DEFRA, will provide grants from £25,000 to £1m and cover up to 40% of total project costs.
Nigel Pulling added:
We don’t recommend that businesses chase after money for the sake of it. However grant funding is now virtually non-existent so we want to make sure our business community understands the opportunities that are available.
The LEP submitted a bid to DEFRA for a Rural Growth Network covering all North Yorkshire and the East Riding. Whilst we’re still awaiting the outcome of this, our wide coverage could pay dividends in terms of eligibility for businesses in our area.
Eligible sectors include Farming, Forestry, Agri-food & Rural Tourism, however in Rural Growth Network areas, any micro-enterprise is eligible to apply.
Announcements about successful Rural Growth Networks are expected in March 2012.
Information about the Rural Economy Grant can be accessed via the Enterprise Partnership’s website at www.businessinspiregrowth.com/finance This page also provides information on a range of other funding opportunities available to local businesses.