Tuesday, February 27, 2018

News: £1m to support rural economy

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£1m is still available for projects in the Sheffield city region (SCR) which create jobs and growth in the rural economy.

Food processors, rural businesses that want to develop, and tourism infrastructure are all eligible to apply for the Growth Fund grants from the Rural Development Programme.

Grants of £35,000 up to £500,000 are available but an Expression of Interest must be submitted by May 31.

Rothbiz reported on the Growth Programme last year.

Priority projects for the SCR in the food processing sector include ideas for exporting, new techniques and processes, increasing productivity, and creating the equivalent of one full-time job for each £25,000 of grant.

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In the business development area, it is also looking for ideas that allow farming ventures to diversify into non-agricultural activities, create new services and / or make new products.

And for tourism infrastructure grants the SCR will prioritise capital investments which create year-round work instead of seasonal jobs, create opportunities for the young and unemployed, bring more visitors to the area, create or develop infrastructure for outdoor activities, and create new or upgrade visitor accommodation.

Neil MacDonald, chair of the SCR's Business Growth Board, said: "Enterprise has always been at the heart of what we do in the City Region. For businesses that decide to apply, this funding could be invaluable in helping them grow."

David Grimes, head of the business growth team at SCR's Growth Hub, added: "We have hundreds of exciting small rural businesses in this region, and they have lots of talent and fresh ideas. I really would urge any business owner out there to think about applying for a grant if you have an innovation or product that will create growth opportunities."

Rural Development Programme website
SCR Growth Hub website

Images: Lawns Farm Shop

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