The long-awaited Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) has now been launched, covering many of the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas in the country.
RDPE provides funding for projects in England that create jobs and growth in the rural economy. Under the RDPE Growth Programme there are grants for business development, food processing, and rural tourism infrastructure. The grants are funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), which is part of the European Structural & Investment Funds (ESIF), and are delivered by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).
Who can apply? Food and drink businesses that process agricultural and horticultural products (e.g. meat, milk, grain, root vegetables and soft fruit). Any size business can apply, but priority is given to SMEs.
Eligible expenditure? Constructing or improving buildings, new equipment and machinery
How much? This depends on each LEP area and the type of products that you produce. The minimum grant award starts at £35,000 up to a maximum of £1.0m in some LEP areas.
Level of funding? De Minimis State Aid rules apply with a maximum 40% intervention rate but other State Aid rules can be applied in certain cases at a 20% maximum. In Cornwall & Isles of Scilly, intervention rates of 50% are possible and large businesses without an agricultural holding number can apply for up to 25% of eligible costs for NEW economic activity.
Outputs? Satisfy local LEP priorities and achieve at least two of – create new jobs (at least 1 FTE for every £30,000 grant), increase turnover & profitability, improve productivity, provide direct benefits to local farmers and growers, create new links between growers and processors, and sell more products locally, nationally or through exports.
Location? UK wide. Unlike the business development and rural tourism elements of the RDPE scheme, which are postcode sensitive, it is possible for a food & drink processor to be located in an urban area provided they can demonstrate a benefit to rural areas.
How to apply? The application process is in two parts, typically taking between 5-6 months. There is an Expression of Interest deadline of 31st January 2018 and final claims submitted by 31st March 2019, subject to availability of funds.
Know someone who would be eligible? If so, then let us and them know. In addition to helping them access an interest-free, repayment-free, equity-free grant to grow their business, we also pay healthy commission on all referrals passed to us.
All consultations and grant finding is done free of charge and we only earn once both parties have identified a suitable opportunity with a good chance of success. For further details please click here.
Questions? If you would like to explore what funding opportunities are available at the moment or would like to discuss your project, then please;
- call us on 0161 826 2256
- email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- follow us on twitter @UKgrantfunding
- check out www.UKgrantfunding.co.uk
Alternatively contact us by clicking on one of the links below. We look forward to hearing from you and discussing your project further
— Mark Clayton