Rural businesses looking to grow in 2018 and beyond are being reminded that they only have until 31 May to apply for grants from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
A total of £5m has been made available by EAFRD to help fund the creation of new infrastructure, which encourages business to grow and diversify.
Business owners working in the following areas are being encouraged to bid for funding:
- Business development schemes that will help rural business to diversify – this could include grants for farmers looking to branch out away from agriculture.
- Rural food processing sector companies investing in new equipment or buildings.
- Tourism infrastructure schemes that encourage visitors to come to the area, stay longer and spend more money in rural locations.
Grants are expected to pay for, on average, 40 per cent of the cost of any project with applicants expected to fund the remaining 60 per cent from other sources. The minimum grant is £35,000.
The money is being made available from the EAFRD, which is administered by the Rural Payments Agency in partnership with the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
Roger Marsh OBE, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership chair and chair of the Leeds City Region European Structural and Investment Funds Sub–Committee, said: “The funding now available will help rural firms become more productive and more competitive while also helping us build infrastructure that will make it easier for tourists to visit our magnificent – and frankly unrivalled – county.
“I’d encourage all rural business owners planning to grow their output to put in applications before 31 May.”
People wanting to apply for the funding are urged to call the Defra Rural Services helpline on 03000 200 301, or email GPEnquries@rpa.gsi.gov.uk. Businesses will need to be located in West Yorkshire, City of York, Craven, Harrogate or Selby.
Applications to the fund have to be submitted by Thursday 31 May.