European Funds still available to help Agriculture and Rural Development ventures tap in to available EU funding

Published 31st January 2017 at 3:25pm

Calls for applications for the most recent round of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) Growth Program have now opened and ventures can submit applications throughout 2017.

The most recent calls include:

  • £745,000 available for enhancing rural tourism infrastructure. The awards of between £35,000 and £170,000 are for capital activities, for example, visitor attractions, signage and plans to enhance visitor connectivity. This fund will not be available for visitor accommodation schemes, which can be financed through the business development call.
  • £835,000 of funding to bolster food processing businesses. Amounts from £50,000 up to £500,000 will be accessible to food processing companies of all sizes in country and urban territories for projects which create new jobs.
  • £464,000 accessible for rural business development. This is for non-agricultural action in Defra-designated areas. Awards of between £35,000 and £170,000 will be accessible for capital use on ventures which will create new jobs.

Sir Nigel Knowles, Chairman of Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, stated: “European funding remains an important source of investment in the region and helps to support local businesses to grow and thrive. Sheffield City Region’s rural economy has a diverse economic structure with manufacturing, retail and hospitality being the largest sectors. At SCR we grab each opportunity and make the most of it, whatever the size of the company, whatever its sector and whatever its ambition so that we can support vibrant economies and create new jobs across the region. Rural businesses play an important part in the economic growth of the region and I encourage rural businesses to apply during 2017.”

The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) Growth Program part of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). It is overseen by the Rural Payments Agency and financing is distributed in England to Local Enterprise Partnerships.

The importance of rural economies to overall national economic well-being is well-established– they offer opportunities for economic growth, a dynamic business base, a strong manufacturing base and opportunities linked to the environment, as well as a high quality of life and an important contribution to the balance between economic growth and sustainability. Sheffield City Region’s rural economy has a diverse economic structure with manufacturing, retail and hospitality being the largest sectors.

These funding routes are created to support the SCR’s rural economy and expressions of Interest to access the funding can be submitted up until midnight on 31 January 2018. Promotional events will be posted to our events page as they are announced.

Click here for more information and to apply. Applicants should check the Sheffield City Region section in the handbook.

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