RDPE Growth Programme

A new programme has been launched aimed at providing funding for projects in England which create jobs and growth in the rural economy.

Under the RDPE Growth Programme, there are grants for:
• Food processing – open to food and drinks businesses that process agricultural or horticultural products.
• Business development – open to small businesses and start-ups, including farmers wishing to diversify into non-agricultural activities.
• Rural tourism infrastructure – open to a wide range of organisations. If the project is intended to make a profit however, then only small businesses and farmers who want to diversify can apply.

The minimum grant is £20,000 and the maximum is €200,000 (c.£175,000 currently). Commercial, profit-making projects can receive up to 40% grant funding. If the project makes just enough income to offset costs and is not intended to make a profit, then up to 80% grant funding could be available. If the project generates no income, then 100% grants may be awarded.

Projects must meet a minimum of two national priorities:

Food Processing:
1. Creates at least 1 job for every £30,000 of grant funding
2. Increases turnover and profitability
3. Provides benefits to the farmers, growers and suppliers (particularly local)
4. Helps you sell more products nationally or locally
5. Introduces new techniques/equipment to make the business more productive
6. Creates new links between business

Business Development:
1. Creates at least 1 job for every £30,000 of grant funding
2. Increases turnover and profitability
3. Introduces new techniques/equipment to make the business more productive
4. Helps the business to sell goods to new markets
5. Helps the business access export markets

Rural Tourism Infrastructure:
1. Creates at least 1 job for every £30,000 of grant funding
2. Attracts tourists at off-peak times
3. Creates or develops tourist attractions and encourages tourists to stay longer and increase spending
4. Provides benefits to the wider tourist economy in the rural area

Grant funding is only available on eligible costs, these include:
• Constructing or improving buildings
• Buying new equipment and machinery
Architects, engineers and consultant fees, buying or developing computer software, licences and copyrights, energy-saving and resource efficiency equipment may also be eligible if forming part of a larger project.

Application

Initially, an expression of interest (EOI) form must be submitted to the RPA outlining how the applicant will meet the criteria for the scheme i.e. create jobs, grow your business or improve the local economy.

The RPA will aim to respond within 30 days and if deemed eligible, the applicant will be invited to submit a full application.

The full application requires considerably more information including final project costs, supplier details, key dates, proposed project outputs, supporting documents, business accounts for 3 years, relevant planning permissions, three quotes for each item to be purchased and evidence that the applicant can cover the costs.

Funding will only be offered to applications which are deemed to best meet the purposes of the funding and will provide the best value for taxpayer’s money. Each application is scored, and priority is given to those that meet local needs (set out in the LEP Directory).

All projects must be finished with grant claims submitted by 30 September 2021.

Submitting an EOI

Expressions of interest must be submitted to the RPA by midnight on 16th February 2020. If you would like our assistance, then please contact Chloe Dolphin or Karen Shuttleworth 01756 692900 or chloe.dolphin@wbwsurveyors.co.uk, karen.shuttleworth@wbwsurveyors.co.uk .

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