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Fri 6 December 2019
Farmers have less than three months to submit their application to be in with the chance of securing funding under a new £35m diversification grant scheme.
Beth Hanson, rural professional at McCartneys, explains that the scheme, run by the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), aims to encourage business growth through projects that boost rural jobs and grow the rural economy.
“Grants are available to support rural projects under three main categories; food processing, business development and rural tourism,” she says.
“Food and drink businesses that process agricultural or horticultural products can claim up to 40% of eligible costs to help construct or improve buildings and purchase new equipment to process meat, milk, grain and root vegetables.”
She highlights that funding is also open to businesses that are looking to invest for growth, resulting in the creation of jobs, improved productivity and access to new markets and export opportunities.
“Examples of eligible funding include investing in new equipment to improve production capacity,” explains Beth.
“The third and final funding option is available for a wide range of projects, which encourage tourists to visit the area, stay longer and spend more money in rural areas,” she adds.
Anyone interested in applying is advised to ensure that applications are thoroughly reviewed before submission.
“With the uncertainty surrounding the future of the economy post Brexit, many people are taking action now to diversify,” says Beth. “And, with £35 million on offer, I’d really encourage people to consider applying.
“There’s likely to be a lot of uptake of the scheme, making it particularly competitive. And, given that businesses are only allowed to make one submission it’s vital they’re up to scratch to maximise the chances of success.
“We can provide support and guidance for the whole process, from giving advice on what’s available under each grant scheme to drafting and submitting applications.”
Submissions should be sent to the Rural Payments Agency by midnight on 16 February 2020.If you would like further information or help with an application, please contact Beth Hanson on 01544 230316 or your local McCartneys Rural Office.