Millions available for rural projects

A pot of £24m is available to rural businesses through the government’s new Growth Programme.

Applications for grants opened at the end of July to boost projects that are looking to support the rural economy.

Priorities have been established across the country, with tourism, food processing and new business creation among the focus.

Individual grants are worth upwards of £35,000 and will be offered in nine Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) – a team-up of local authorities and local businesses. The first wave of available grants totals £6.3m, with the rest of the £24m to be rolled out by autumn in two batches.

Lincoln is not one of the nine LEPs to benefit initially, but is due for inclusion in a later round, with the £24m part of a package worth more than £450m in the next six years.

“By helping our rural entrepreneurs to achieve their full potential, the rollout of the Growth Programme is great news for our rural communities,” said farming minister George Eustice.

“This £6.3m of funding is going to support businesses, bring high-quality jobs to rural areas, boost rural productivity and grow the local economy.”

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