£7 million Growth Programme funding for rural businesses

Grants available for rural entrepreneurs through new £7 million funding.

Rural businesses in 12 areas across the country are set to benefit from almost £7 million to get their businesses off the ground and promote tourism, Farming Minister George Eustice announced today.

This is the latest funding round after £15 million was made available at the end of July and August through Defra’s Growth Programme.

Inviting businesses to apply, Minister for Farming, Food and the Marine Environment George Eustice said:

“This funding plays an important role in supporting our plans to grow the rural economy and bring high-quality jobs to rural areas.

I strongly encourage businesses from across the country looking to expand to apply. This way we can ensure our rural towns and villages remain thriving and are attractive places to work and raise a family.”

tree-402953_1280Already hundreds of rural businesses have benefited from Rural Development Programme funding, with entrepreneurs using the money to expand and promote local tourism. Successful applicants include cookery schools, garden centres, tea rooms and farm shops, alongside cutting edge food producers who are taking the gastronomic scene by storm with their local ciders and new charcuterie and cheese products.

Individual grants in this round are worth upwards of £35,000, depending on the individual project, and will now be offered in 12 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas.


Further Information

  • You can find more information on the grants here
  • The Growth Programme is worth £177 million. Over the summer, three rounds of the Growth Programme have taken place with nearly £24 million made available out of the £177 million.
  • Today’s funding builds on £6.3 million and £8 million of Growth Programme funding available in 20 LEP areas at the end of July and August.
  • The Growth Programme is just one part within the wider Rural Development Programme set to benefit many different aspects of rural life and worth £3.5 billion over the next 6 years.
  • The Growth Programme is competitive to ensure funding available is targeted where it can bring the biggest benefit. Applications will be scored against a range of criteria, including local priorities – with those who address these priorities more likely to receive funding.
  • The grants are managed by the Rural Payments Agency working with the 12 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs)
  • LEPs are partnerships between local authorities and local businesses across England.