£120m to Support Rural Businesses
The government will make £120m of funding available to support rural businesses and generate thousands of jobs.
The measure was announced by environment secretary Andrea Leadsom at the Oxford Farming Conference.
Applications are set to open for the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) Growth Programme, which will help start-up businesses as well as supporting established companies to grow, develop new products and enter new markets.
Leadsom said: “A quarter of England’s businesses are based in the countryside and this funding will give rural start-ups, family-run businesses and farmers looking to diversify the boost they need.
“The programme has already supported a range of projects, from installing cutting-edge equipment to restoring flood plains, and the next round will help create more jobs, sell more products and help us access new markets.”
Those who have benefitted from the funding scheme include Kent-based fruit handling company Biddenden and Carvannel Free Range Dairy in Cornwall, which secured £80,000 to diversify.
The £120m cashpot will be awarded in addition to other RPDE projects, including woodland creation and a flood action facilitation fund.