Government pledges £35m to boost rural businesses

Rural businesses have been urged to apply for a share of the £35 million that’s up for grabs as part of the Government’s RDPE Growth Programme, a fund that’s dedicated to help rural businesses unlock their potential.

The scheme is devised to get behind business owners operating rurally by offering three different types of grant: business development grants, food processing grants and rural tourism infrastructure grants. Successful applicants will be entitled to a minimum grant of £20,000.

Rural UK businesses have already benefited to the tune of almost £100 million, enabling job creation, boosting tourism and driving productivity. For this latest round of funding £35 million is in the pot, but this figure could rise to £50 million if there are sufficient high-calibre applications.

Bruce Montgomery, a Partner at accountants Smith Cooper, said: “Applicants must submit an Expression of Interest form to the Rural Payments Agency by 16 February 2020, outlining their eligibility for the scheme. If their application is considered eligible, then they will be invited to submit a full application.

“With the clock ticking, I would urge those who are interested to get the ball rolling now.”

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