£750,000 of European funding (EAFRD) is being made available to small, growing rural businesses across Northamptonshire as part of NEP’s commitment to boosting economic growth and prosperity in the rural sector. Live from today (Tuesday), this is one of two calls (the other for projects providing a shift towards a low carbon economy in Northamptonshire) for European funding currently being made to local businesses.
Northamptonshire has a significant rural economy base with a very high percentage of micro and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) operating out of the rural areas, making a sizeable contribution to employment and income.
NEP, in partnership with business, local authorities, skills and VCS organisations, is tasked with making the £750,000 available to help these businesses, new or established, expand and create new jobs.
Support for the rural economy is one of four key priorities of Northamptonshire’s ESIF strategy which recognises the importance of supporting and growing rural businesses.
The EAFRD funding will deliver individual grants to:
Projects associated with rural tourism and the food and drink processing sectors will be prioritised.
Sajeeda Rose, Chief Operating Officer, NEP said: “This latest call for projects TO SUPPORT Northamptonshire’s rural sector is another important opportunity for NEP and its partners to work together to develop the local rural economy and help create new jobs.
“The new European funding will help us focus on the challenges ahead for the county’s rural communities, which collectively account for 20 per cent of all Northamptonshire jobs.”
Grants of up to around £140,000
Up to 18 projects will be funded in the NEP geography. Grants available will range from £35,000 to a maximum of approximately £140,000 (200,000 Euros) and can cover up to 40 per cent of a project’s total costs. Projects must have a total value of at least £87,500 to be eligible for funding.
The EAFRD funding will aim to create at least 63 new jobs in the area, boost tourism and visitor numbers, increase the turnover of businesses and increase productivity in the rural economy.
Businesses must be registered with the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) before they can apply for the EAFRD funding. To register online for RPA, visit www.gov.uk/government/organisations/rural-payments-agency
Once registered with the RPA a business can make an outline application for EAFRD funding online.
For more information about the Growth Programme, visit www.gov.uk/government/collections/growth-programme-grants-for-the-rural-economy
Applications – which must be submitted by 5.00pm on Friday November 27 – will be assessed by government and NEP. Those with the strongest business case will then be asked to make a further, full application for project funding.
Further funding opportunities
Other funding could also be made available for agricultural and forestry businesses in rural areas, through the European LEADER funding programme, the Countryside Productivity Scheme and Countryside Stewardship.
Additional support for businesses, including rural ones, may also be available through other parts of NEPs European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF) allocation – £49m to be spent in the NEP area over the six years to 2020 – of which the EAFRD funding is a part.
NEP will be holding a series of drop in information sessions, hosted by dedicated rural and business advisers, for would-be applicants across Northamptonshire in September and October to give help and guidance on the new EAFRD funding.
23rd September – 10.00am-1.00pm – South Northants Council offices
13th October – 10.00am-1.00pm- East Northants council offices
Additional sessions will be organised soon. For further details and to confirm attendance, contact Emma Powlett email@example.com
For more information on how NEP is using European funding to boost the economy and jobs numbers in its areas, visit www.northamptonshireep.co.uk/strategy-documents/esif
Full guidance for details of eligibility can be found via the following links:
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