News - 23 March 2015

Free rural businesses conference to provide help and funding

A wealth of rural businesses will attend the free D2N2 Rural Means Business Conference on Thursday(March 26), to dicover how to get funding and support.

Food and drink producers, tourist attraction and holiday home sites, low carbon and hi-tech firms, and a wide range of other rural Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire businesses will attend the conference, to run from 10am to 3pm on Thursday, at the RCAN (Rural Community Action Nottinghamshire) Newstead Centre in Tilford Road, Newstead Village, Nottinghamshire (NG15 0BS).

Places to attend the free event are still available.

It has been organised by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP); a private sector led partnership between businesses, local authorities and higher education institutions. It plays a central role in deciding economic priorities – by undertaking activities driving economic growth and creating local jobs – in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. Thriving rural businesses – such as Peak Ales Brewery (pictured) – are seen as a key part of that  drive.

Peak Ales Brewery

Peak Ales Brewery

Expert speakers at the free conference will discuss opportunities for businesses to access funding aimed at helping boost the D2N2 rural economy.

This includes around £5.5million, available through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) specifically for rural areas in D2N2, part of a £214m package also announced this month (March); coming throughD2N2 to promote jobs and growth, and directly benefit businesses. Another initiative, the LEADER funding programme for specific rural areas in the D2N2 catchment, will also be discussed at the conference.

This funding is linked to the activities of the D2N2 Growth Hub; which aids businesses with the information, guidance, support, expertise and financing they need to start-up or grow their business.

Conference speakers on the morning of the event (10am to 12noon) will include:

  • Rob Crowder, Chair of the D2N2 Rural Reference Group, and Board Member and Chief Executive for Rural Community Action Nottinghamshire.
  • Mike Stubbs, of DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs), which works to make England’s agriculture and forestry sectors more competitive, improve the quality of life in rural areas and diversify rural economies. He will give an overview of the rural programmes.
  • Amanda Brown, LEADER Co-ordinator for the Peak District Programme.
  • Lindsay Allen – Senior Programme Manager for the D2N2 Growth Hub.
  • Matthew Wheatley – D2N2 Growth Plan Manager for its European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme.

There will also be a chance to hear from rural business owners already benefiting from the funds’ help.

The speakers will be followed by a networking lunch from 12noon to 1pm, and then in the afternoon the chance to take part in themed workshops from 1pm-3pm on developing business proposals for rural enterprises based on:

  • Tourism
  • Food and drink
  • Renewables (low carbon and sustainable energy generation)

Lindsay Allen – Senior Programme Manager for the D2N2 Growth Hub and conference co-organisers – said: “We are looking forward to talking to the business owners set to come along to our D2N2 Rural Means Business conference, who will be taking advantage of the free expert advice, and hearing about the help and funding whichis out there for them.”

To book online to attend the conference and choose which workshops you wish to attend, click here 

For more information on this media release or D2N2’s work contact Sean Kirby, D2N2 Communications Officer, on 0115 9578749 or email:

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