Grant Funding for Rural Businesses


A recent growth programme has been issued by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The European Growth Programme explains what you must do to apply for a grant, how grant applications are assessed and how to meet the terms of a grant funding offer if your application is successful.

The European Growth Programme provides funding to help projects which create jobs and boost the economy in England. These grants are funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) manages the grants, working with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and local partners.

Calls for applications are currently open in a limited number of LEP areas, as part of an initial phase, before the programme opens fully. These calls will only include some of the grants listed below, depending on local priorities:

  • Manufacturing including agri-food;
  • Engineering;
  • Information Technology Services; and
  • Digital and Creative.

Examples of the types of activity that can be supported include:

  • Construction, re-construction or establishment of workshops, factories,
  • plants and other premises and facilities;
  • Food and drink processing and marketing resulting in non-Annex 1 products as output;
  • Farm diversification activities that will create business growth.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate that their project proposal would not occur without grant funding.

The following sectors will not be supported under this call:

  • Local services (for example horse livery, motor vehicle repair or retail of any type);
  • Personal services (for example hairdressing, dentistry and other health services or laundry services);
  • Professional services (for example consultancy, accountancy or legal services);
  • Tourism businesses.

Applicants for this call must be either:

  • Small and micro rural businesses in CWLEP’s rural areas employing at least two full-time equivalent employees; or
  • Farmers or members of the farm household diversifying into non-agricultural activities based within CWLEP rural area.

From June 2015, calls for applications will open across the country. The grants that are available will reflect the priorities of each local area.

The Government has allocated £177 million of rural development funding from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) for delivery.

For full details about the Growth Programme and guidance notes go to

Please note: the deadline for the submissions of applications is Friday 19th June at 17.00 hours.

If you would like to discuss this with a member of our team, please call 0845 177 5500 or use our on-line contact form

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