Rural funding scheme launched


A new £500k pot of funding to support agri-food businesses and rural micro businesses across Cornwall to create jobs and boost productivity has been launched.

The scheme will look to prioritise support for rural micro businesses (employing less than ten people) and businesses that fall within target sectors such as agri-food (defined as those processing or adding value to primary agricultural, horticultural or forestry products) marine, ICT, manufacturing, tourism, energy and environment.

Applications from businesses in areas not currently eligible for Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) funding will be also be prioritised.

The scheme will be managed by Cornwall Development Company (CDC) and delivered in partnership with the Rural Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Partnership Board and Cornwall Rural Community Council. The project is part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development 2007-2013, Defra and Cornwall Council.

Stephen Rushworth, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for economy & regeneration, said: “This funding supports vital business development and growth and will enable companies to improve productivity and create jobs despite the tough economic climate.”

The funding will support up to 40% of agreed project costs. The minimum investment available is £10k, which means a total project value of at least £25k. Grants will be capped at £25k except in exceptional circumstances.

Both agri-food and rural micro projects must demonstrate proposals that will result in business development and growth, including job creation, increased efficiency, profitability and benefits to the rural economy.

David Rodda, CDC’s rural delivery manager, added: “The RBIS provides another opportunity for rural businesses in Cornwall to access RDPE funds before the programme closes to new applications at the end of this year. The delivery timescales are tight but we feel confident that there are enough strong proposals being developed to utilise the funding within the given time frame and importantly to deliver positive impacts for the rural economy.”

The scheme is now open and successful applicants must be able to have completed their project and submitted claims by December 31, 2013.

For more information and to access an expression of interest form please contact Rural Focus: 08456 047 047