News - 08 February 2017

Places are still available for D2N2 Rural Funding Conference

Rural businesses looking to grow their operations can find out all about available support, advice and funding at a free conference held by the D2N2 Growth Hub next week.

The D2N2 Rural Means Business Conference will be held next Wednesday (February 15th), at the Bramley Building at Nottingham Trent University’s Brackenhurst Campus, Southwell, Nottinghamshire (NG25 0QF).  It is free to attend and will run from 10:00am to 2:00pm and will include a networking lunch. This conference comes in the wake of further European Agricultural Funds for Rural Development (EAFRD) being announced for the D2N2 area of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire and follows on from a similar conference held at the Newstead Centre in 2015 (pictured).

The D2N2 Growth Hub was set up by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) – a private-sector-led partnership which works to grow the economy in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire – and works to help SMEs in the D2N2 area who have ambitions to grow. The Growth Hub provides support, advice, a network of partner organisations and regular workshops on a variety of issues. Since it’s setup in December 2014, the Growth Hub has gone on to be awarded further funding from the European Regional Development Fund, which guarantees its services to D2N2 area SMEs until March 2019.

The agenda for next week’s Rural Means Business Conference is below:

10.00 – 12:30

Main Conference

10.00 – 10.10

Welcome to the Conference – Rob Mayo

10.10 – 10.30

Overview of Rural Policy and EAFRD

10.30 – 10.45

ESIF Main Programme – Lindsay Allen

10.45 – 11.00

LEADER Presentation – Craig Edson

11.00 – 11.15

D2N2 Growth Hub – Simon Hall

11.15 – 11.45

Focus on: how a local business has benefitted from grant support

11:45 – 12:25

Workshops 1

12:30 – 1:15

Networking lunch

1:15 – 1:45

Workshops 2

1:45 – 2:00

Close – Rob Mayo

This conference is designed to help businesses bid for a recent announcement of £3m in EAFRD funding for the D2N2 area which will look to help rural businesses who want to improve demand for their agricultural and horticultural products, or to create more jobs, or companies or organisations intent on improving countryside cycle networks for tourism or recreational use.

The £3m available is split into 3 projects, which are listed below:

Food Processing 

£501,253 is being made available to support the growth of food and drink processing businesses.

Priority will be given to projects which:

  • Create new, higher skilled jobs.
  • Develop strong supply chains within the D2N2 area. 
  • Support businesses’ growth via export and accessing new international markets, or increase the volume of products exported.
  • Bring in new techniques or processes which increase production and productivity.

Project bidders must apply for at least £50,000 in grant aid. The maximum grant is £501,253. The programme will be open for applications for 18 months, while funding is available.

Business Development 

£1.6million is being made available to invest in rural micro and small business ventures, including farming businesses diversification into non-farming activities (for example, land used for tourism or leisure-based attractions).

Priority will be given to projects which:

  • Develop high growth businesses linked toD2N2’s eight key commercial sectors: transport equipment manufacturing, life sciences, food and drink manufacturing, construction, transport and logistics, the visitor economy, creative and digital industries, and low carbon goods and services.
  • Create new jobs within the business applying for funding.
  • Develop new higher skilled jobs within the applicant business.
  • Demonstrate business innovation, boosting productivity by introducing or developing new technologies or processes within the business applying.

Project bidders must apply for at least £35,000 in grant aid. The maximum grant is £170,000. The programme will be open for applications for 18 months, while funding is available.

Rural Tourism Infrastructure

£928,247 will be used to develop rural tourism infrastructure, particularly recreational cycling, in D2N2’s rural areas.

Project bidders can apply for capital funding to build schemes which connect rural attractions, encouraging more recreational cycling and greater numbers of visitors to come to those areas.

Priority will be given to projects which:

  • Enable new or existing attractions to improve their offer to visitors, encouraging longer stays and increased tourism spending in the rural D2N2 LEP area.
  • Extend the tourism season beyond the usual May to October period.
  • Improve access links to and between visitor attractions, including through development of multi-user paths.
  • Support cycling’s development, building on recent successes such as the 2015 and 2016 ‘Tour of Britain’ cycling events.
  • Create new skilled jobs in applicant businesses.
  • Develop visitor accommodation where there is a demand for additional accommodation, as detailed in the D2N2 LEP area’s Destination Management Plan or LEP Tourism Strategy.

Project bidders must apply for at least £50,000 in grant aid. The maximum grant is £170,000. The programme will be open for applications for 12 months, while funding is available.

Peter Richardson, Chair of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “It’s estimated around a third of jobs in the D2N2 LEP’s area are based in rural areas, but employers there tend to have less access to the benefits of infrastructure and business development opportunities seen in urban areas.

“Targeted funding via the D2N2 LEP, such as the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development grants being made available from today, help level the playing field; growing jobs and businesses which people living in rural areas rely on.”

To book a place on the D2N2 Rural Means Business Conference, visit

For more information about all three programmes and to apply for funding go to Gov.Uk website link 

Grants given will only cover a percentage of projects’ costs, with successful bidders expected to also invest.

For More Information on the above release, please contact:

Sean Kirby

D2N2 Communications Manager

01159 578749

 D2N2 logo CMYK

Sam Burbage

D2N2 Social Media and Marketing Officer

01159 578254

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