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In a major boost to jobs and growth in rural areas, businesses are being invited to submit expressions of interest for support under the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE).

The RDPE Growth Programme supports projects that invest in building businesses, creating new jobs and growing the economy in rural areas. There are grants (of upto 40% of eligible costs) being made available to support 3 types of activity:

  • Business development
  • Food processing
  • Rural tourism infrastructure

You could be eligible for a Growth Programme grant if your business is carrying out a project to create jobs or bring more money into the rural economy. In your application you will need to “sell your story” of how these outputs will be achieved !!

The grants are funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), which is part of the European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF). This is not new money, it was already allocated by the Treasury. It is being released now as a result of confirmation that the government will guarantee funding for RDPE Growth Programme grants if they are agreed and signed before the UK’s departure from the EU, even if the grant agreements continue after the UK has left the EU.

Handbooks have been produced for each activity stream which tell you more about each type of grant, including:

  • Who can apply
  • How to apply
  • What the grant money can be used for (and what it cannot be used for!)
  • How long the process will take

The application process is competitive, which means they are not awarded automatically to an applicant. The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) will assess all expressions of interest to see which best meet the criteria.

Please contact us if you wish to discuss your potential project and grant application. The programme will remain open for Expressions of Interest until 31 January 2018.

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