Rural businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are set to benefit from a new round of Government funding to create new jobs, boost tourism, and unlock growth in rural areas.
The Growth Programme, which opens for expressions of interest on Monday November 4, provides grants for rural start-ups and businesses to purchase state-of-art equipment and machinery to grow their business or open up opportunities for tourism.
The Government has allocated a minimum of £35 million to spend on grants for rural businesses, with up to £5 million set aside to help the rural economies of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Under previous funding rounds of the Growth programme, rural businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have been able to make major investments in technology and equipment, boosting turnover and creating new jobs for the area.
Camborne-based Carvannel Free Range Dairy used a grant of £89k to establish a new milk processing business, focused on producing and promoting a range of free range dairy products, including Cornish clotted cream and natural yoghurts.
The grant contributed towards a new building and state-of-the-art dairy processing equipment, allowing the company to produce a range of dairy products, while creating two full time jobs and ensuring a long-term income stream.
Farming Minister and MP for Camborne & Redruth, George Eustice said: “Through our Growth Programme we’ve set aside funds for rural businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to grow their businesses and create jobs for the local community.
“Existing enterprises in tourism, food processing and hospitality could all be eligible for a grant, but the programme also offers the opportunity for farm businesses to consider branching out too.
“As a popular destination for holidaymakers, we want to ensure the region’s local businesses and start-ups can capitalise on these opportunities and unlock their full potential.”
For this funding round of the Growth Programme, the threshold for minimum grants has come down from £35k to £20k meaning that more small or micro-businesses can be eligible for a grant for their projects. If there are many high-quality applications for this funding round, the overall budget could increase to up to £50 million to fund worthy projects.