Business in the Countryside? You Could be Eligible for New Funding

If your business is based in a rural area, you could get your hands on part of a new £120m pot of funding that is aimed at supporting farmers, growing businesses and generating jobs in the countryside.

The cash bonanza was announced by Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom at the Oxford Farming Conference earlier this month.

Rural and farm businesses will soon be able to apply for the next round of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) Growth Programme, which will help new businesses get off the ground and support existing companies to grow, develop new products and access new export markets.

Funding has already benefited dozens of businesses across England, including the Biddenden fruit handling company in Kent, which received £70,000 to install new equipment – leading to two new products and three new jobs – and Carvannel Free Range Dairy Ltd in Cornwall, which received over £80,000 to diversify their business and develop a new milk processing factory.

Pointing out that a quarter of England’s businesses are based in rural areas, the Environment Secretary said “funding will give rural start-ups, family-run businesses and farmers looking to diversify the boost they need.”

Confirmation of next steps for the RDPE comes hot on the heels of the Chancellor’s recent guarantee to support projects signed off before we leave the EU, provided they are good value for money and are in line with domestic strategic priorities.

The £120 million fund will sit alongside recently announced funding for other RDPE projects, including woodland creation and a flood action facilitation fund.