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Fri 03 Jan 2020

Govt Grants for Rural Businesses

Deadline approaches to register an Expression of Interest

Planning a project that will grow your business, create jobs or bring more money into the rural economy? You might be able to apply for a grant to help you fund it. 

The deadline of midnight on Sunday 16th February 2020 is approaching for you to register an Expression of Interest in applying for Rural Development Programme England (RDPE) LEADER funding.   LEADER is a programme aimed at providing grants for rural development in local areas.

This opportunity has been achieved through the creation of the RDPE Growth Programme National Reserve Fund and to run a new round of National Calls for applications.  The three themes for this round of funding are:

  • Food Processing - an example might be milk processing: A group of farmers are setting up a business to create a new milk processing facility. The farmers are working with a regional retailer that is committed to developing local supply chains for the dairy products sold in their stores. The new milk processing business has secured a rolling 5-year deal for supply based on the cost of production and has identified opportunities for production of yoghurt in future years. 
  • Rural Business Development - an example might be Investment in equipment: A small rural business that makes furniture will invest in 2 new machines. This will create 2 new full-time jobs. It also means the business can use new, high-precision techniques, and so will create higher quality products. This investment will open up new markets locally, nationally and overseas. 
  • Rural Tourism Infrastructure - an example might be capital investment in visitor attractions: A business is building a new visitor attraction for families. This will add to the range of attractions already in the area. It will make the area more attractive to tourists and increase the number of visitors. Because the new visitor attraction is all-weather, it will help extend the tourist season in the area. This means other tourism businesses, like restaurants and accommodation providers, will also benefit. The project will create one full-time job and 4 seasonal jobs.

You can download a handbook for each of the three themes at


Are you interested?  A workshop to provide guidance and information on submitting an Expression of Interest for RDPE Growth Programme funding is being held in Cambridge on Thursday 20th January.  The workshop is being held by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Eastbrook, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge, CB2 8DR. The workshop runs from 10:30 - 14:00 and you can register for your free ticket through Eventbrite at  Please contact if you have any questions.

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