Free information events beginning this month (September) will aid small rural businesses in accessing £933,000 in development help – as part of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership’s plan to boost economic growth.
More than a third of the D2N2 area’s total of 880,000-plus jobs are in rural local authority areas but according to DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) problems for the rural economy can include reduced income among farmers, lower than average wages and difficulties in finding business investment.
D2N2 – a partnership of business, local authorities, skills and training providers, and community organisations tasked with boosting economic growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – is making £933,000 available; to help new or established small or micro businesses in rural areas to expand and create new jobs.
Rural food production at the Hartington Creamery, Derbyshire
Capital grants – made available through D2N2’s funding allocation from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) Growth Programme – could fund activities including:
- farmers diversifying into non-agricultural activities such as tourism or an attraction to create jobs;
- rural food and drink manufacturers, for example craft breweries looking to increase production;
- the construction of workshops or investing in new machinery, to enable a rural business to expand.
To be eligible to apply for a grant a rural business must operate in the D2N2 area and in one of its eight key economic sectors – the visitor economy, food and drink manufacturing, low carbon, construction, transport equipment manufacturing, transport and logistics, creative industries or life sciences – OR be looking to create new jobs, OR increase productivity; OR introduce a technology, product or process new to their sector.
Grants will range in size from £35,000 to approximately £140,000 and can cover up to 40% of a project’s total costs. Projects must have a total value of at least £87,500 to be eligible for funding.
Free information sessions about the EAFRD funding and how to access it will be held on:
- Wednesday September 16, 5pm to 7pm – Hilton House Hotel, Mill Lane, Hilton, Derbyshire, DE65 5GP.
To book online to attend go to web link – www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/rural-eafrd-funding-workshop-south-derbyshire-tickets-18452964313
- Friday September 18, 9am to 12noon – Matlock Town Hall, Bank Road, Matlock DE4 3NN.
To book online to attend go to – www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/rural-eafrd-funding-workshop-derbyshire-dales-tickets-18165468405
- Wednesday September 30, 8.45am to 11.30am – The Old Hall Hotel, The Square, Buxton.
To book online go to – www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/funding-for-business-breakfast-event-high-peak-tickets-18435197171
- Tuesday October 6, 8.30am to 11.30am – Mansfield (venue to be confirmed).
- Thursday October 8, 5pm to 7pm – Bolsover District Council, The Arc, High Street, Clowne, Derbyshire, S43 4JY.
To book online go to – www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/rural-eafrd-funding-workshop-bolsover-tickets-18431871223
- Thursday October 15, 4pm to 7pm – Council Chamber, Gedling Borough Council, Civic Centre, Arnot Hill Park, Nottingham, NG5 6LU.
Those unable to attend the sessions can find out more about the EAFRD funding from the D2N2 Growth Hub team, on 0333 006 9178 or email email@example.com , or via Government website www.gov.uk/european-structural-investment-funds/business-support-call-in-derby-derbyshire-nottingham-and-nottinghamshire-08rd15bs0001
The EAFRD funding will aim to create at least 68 new jobs in the area, and boost tourism and visitor numbers, increase the turnover of businesses and increase productivity in the rural economy.
Businesses must be registered with Government agency the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) before they can apply for the EAFRD funding. To register online for RPA go to website www.ruralpayments.service.gov.uk/
Once registered with the RPA a business can make an outline application for EAFRD funding online. More information about the Growth Programme can be found at website www.gov.uk/government/collections/growth-programme-grants-for-the-rural-economy
Applications – which must be submitted by 5pm on Friday November 27 – will be assessed by the Government and the D2N2 LEP. Those with the strongest business case will then be asked to make a further, full application for project funding.
Other funding could also be made available, for agricultural and forestry businesses in D2N2 rural areas; through the European LEADER funding programme, the Countryside Productivity Scheme and Countryside Stewardship. Additional support for businesses, including rural ones, may also be available through other parts of D2N2’s European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF) allocation – £214m to be spent in the D2N2 area over the six years, to 2020 – of which the EAFRD funding is a part..
David Ralph, Chief Executive of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Service to the community, accessible employment opportunities and vital economic input are all provided by small rural businesses, but they can struggle to find the funding which is perhaps more readily available in urban areas.
“The EAFRD funding we’ve announced, and which these information sessions can tell people more about, is aimed specifically at providing owners of new and established, smaller rural businesses with the help they need.”
For more information on how the D2N2 LEP is using European funding to boost the economy and jobs numbers in its areas see website www.d2n2lep.org/EUFunding
Media needing further information about the work of the D2N2 LEP can contact D2N2 Communications Officer Sean Kirby on 0115 9578749 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org