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Grant funding for business development now available 

Mon 9 December 2019

The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) Growth Programme is once again encouraging applications for substantial capital grants towards projects that will create jobs and bring money into the rural economy. The application process has two stages and the deadline for expressions of interest being Sunday 16 February 2020.

Successful applicants at the first stage will then be invited to submit a full application. The final date by which all projects must be finished, paid for and grant claims submitted is Thursday 30 September 2021.

To be eligible for these grants, ventures must meet one of the three following criteria:
  1. Food processing – for food and drink businesses that process agricultural or horticultural products. Funding can be used to construct or improve buildings and purchase new equipment.
  2. Business development – open to small businesses and start-ups including non-agricultural diversifications.
  3. Rural tourism infrastructure – funding for 40% of a commercial project or 100% of a non-commercial venture, projects should encourage tourists to visit, stay longer and spend more in rural areas.
There is a set of national and local priorities and the projects that best meet these and demonstrate good value for taxpayers’ money are more likely to be successful. The minimum grant is £20,000, therefore the minimum spend for a project at 40% funding will be £50,000.

Stags has a strong track record in assisting clients with grant applications and the multi-disciplined team is well-equipped to assist with grant applications as well as, often associated, planning applications. We even advise on suitable leasehold structures if a farm or commercial tenant is looking to secure funding. Examples of recent successful Stags backed RDPE applications include:
  • Securing planning permission, listed building consent, works specifications and tenders as well as grant funding towards a £250,000 veterinary practice conversion. Negotiating and putting the necessary leasehold structure in place to allow the incoming tenant to invest and undertake the works of conversion to best suit their business.
  • Securing 13 listed building consents and planning permissions within a Grade II*-Listed Park, in close proximity to a Grade I-Listed building, for a programme of tourism infrastructure improvements. Obtaining works specifications and tenders and writing a successful grant application to secure an offer of approximately £150,000 of RDPE grant funding.

If you have a business idea and require advice or assistance with an application, contact Stags Professional Services today.

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