Rural Grants for Business

The RDPE Growth Programme is available for business owners to claim grant funding – EOI deadline midnight 31 January 2018.

The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) Growth Programme provides funding for projects in England which create jobs and growth in the rural economy.

Under the RDPE Growth Programme, there are grants for:
• Business development
• Food processing
• Rural tourism infrastructure

The grants are funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (part of the European Structural and Investment Funds).

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) delivers the grants in Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) areas.

This article is about grants under the RDPE Growth Programme for Business Development:

Who Can Apply?
• Small and micro rural businesses – new or existing including farmers who want to diversify into non-agricultural activity.
• Small Business = fewer than 50 FTE employees and annual turnover/balance sheet total of 10m euros or less.
• Micro Business = fewer than 10 FTE employees and annual turnover/balance sheet total of 2m euros or less.
Note: FTE is a full-time equivalent employee – person who works a min 30 hrs/wk counts as 1 FTE employee.

What are the Grants for?
• To help rural businesses grow and create more jobs

Grant funding can help pay for:
• Construction or improving buildings
• Buying new equipment and machinery
• Architects, engineer/consultant fees (up to 15% of total eligible costs)

How much money you can apply for?
• The business development grants will normally cover up to 40% of the project’s total eligible costs.
• Min £35,000 (may vary with in some LEP areas) based on £87,500 qualifying spend.
• Max grant per project is 200,000 euros (approx. £170,000 at current exchange rate).

All applications are assessed to see how well they fit the priorities for funding and which projects provide best value for taxpayers’ money.

Preparing an Application

RPA will assess all applications. They are looking for evidence of a sound business plan and for projects that meet the priorities for funding.

National Priorities:
• Create Jobs : – creates new, higher-skilled or higher-paid jobs and creates at least 1 FTE job for every £30,000 of grant funding
• Grow your business – increase the turnover and profitability of a business
• Improve productivity through innovation
• Open new product markets
• Export

Local Priorities for Funding
Check the priorities sated within your LEP area.

The Application is in 2 stages:

1) Expression of Interest (EOI)
Your project clearly. Say exactly what you’re doing, why it’s good for your business, how and where you’re doing it and who will benefit from it.
You can find the EOI form on GOV.UK – search “RDPE Growth Programme EOI” and submit by email to

2) Full Application
If you’re invited to submit a full application, you’ll be asked for more information to further assess your project and your business.
a) Strategic Fit – how well the project meets national and local priorities for funding. How it will impact the environment. It does not disadvantage anybody in terms of disability,age etc
b) Value for Money – the difference grant funding will make and the amount required to deliver outcomes and outputs
c) Need and Demand – why grant funding is required for the project. There is a clearly identified market need for the project. The impact it has on other businesses, both positive and negative
d) Financial Viability – the current financial viability of your business, how the project may impact on your existing business operations. How you will fund the project until the grant is claimed and how the business will benefit from the project financially.
e) Delivery and Sustainability – will the project be delivered in budget and on time with the right skills and resource are in place to deliver the project successfully. That risks to project delivery have been identified.

You will need to send:
• Supporting docs appropriate to the project eg market research, customer surveys etc
• Business accounts for last 3 financial years (unless new business)
• Relevant permissions and consents
• 3 quotes for each item to be purchased
• Evidence you can cover the project costs before claiming the grant in stages
The business will need to show it will continue for a minimum of 5 years following the receipt of grants.

At Miller & Miller we have pool of professionals, consultants and tradesmen who together we can assist you with the preparation of your applications.
For further details please contact David Miller MRICS FAAV who is an Independent Chartered Surveyor and Registered RICS Valuer direct and in confidence on Tel: 0114 327 0120 for an informal discussion.