Funding is available, through the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) Growth Programme, to support projects that increase rural jobs, growth and productivity in the Heart of the South West. Funding is split across three specific strands:
- Rural Business Development Grants – Farm businesses diversifying into non-agricultural activity and new or existing micro and small businesses (including social enterprises) in rural areas can apply for capital grants between £35,000 and £170,000 to support business start-up or expansion.
- Food Processing Grants – New or existing food and drink processing businesses (including farm businesses diversifying into food and drink processing) in rural or urban areas of the Heart of the South West can apply for capital grants from £35,000 to support business start-up or expansion. Project proposals located in urban areas must be able to demonstrate how their activity will create jobs and growth in the rural economy – for example, through direct benefits to a rural supply chain.
- Rural Tourism Infrastructure – Rural businesses, farmers, landowners, charities and public bodies can apply for capital grants from £35,000 for projects that improve the local rural tourism offer by delivering new or enhanced rural tourism assets and infrastructure.
There is a competitive and two-stage application process, comprising an expression of interest and a full application.
The deadline for submission of expressions of interest for grants through the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) Growth Programme has now been extended to 31 May 2018.
The final date by which approved RDPE Growth Programme projects must be finished, paid for and complete grant claims submitted has also been extended to 31 December 2020. Further details of funding opportunities and how to apply are available here.