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New grant funds for rural productivity and jobs launched
4th November 2019

A new round of Growth Programme grants has launched today to provide capital investments to create or grow micro and small businesses in rural areas. The aim is to grow the economy of rural areas and create new jobs.

The three grant themes are:

  • Business Development - constructing or improving buildings, or buying new equipment and machinery e.g. new machinery to set up a new rural businesses, or construction needed as part of farm diversification plans
  • Food Processing - constructing or improving buildings, or buying new equipment and machinery for food production or packing e.g. new packing or production machinery or setting up a new food production business
  • Rural Tourism Infrastructure - capital expenditure on tourism infrastructure e.g. improving or building a new visitor attraction

The grants can help fund part of the capital expenditure costs of a project and are between £20k-£175k (although Food Processing can be up to a maximum of £750,000, depending on the type of product). For Business Development and Food Processing, grants can be up to 40% of eligible costs. For Rural Tourism Infrastructure, the grant percentage is dependent on whether the project is commercial and profit-making.

These grants are only available to rural businesses, and you can check if your business is within rural areas by using Magic Mapping. To view the rural areas select ‘Administrative Geographies’ ‘Other Administrative Boundaries’ and then ‘Rural areas within Local Enterprise Partnerships (England)’.

The deadline for Expressions of Interest (EOI) is midnight 16 February 2020. The final deadline for project expenditure if an application is successful is 30 September 2021. You can find further information in the grant handbooks.


EOI workshops have been scheduled to help potential applicants understand the scheme. The workshops will provide advice on completing Expressions of Interest. Find your nearest workshop and book a space on Eventbrite.


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