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Rural start-ups to benefit from new £60m grant scheme

Grants of between £25,000 and £1m available

Applications are now open for a new £60m grant scheme for rural entrepreneurs.

The Rural Economy Grant, from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), is the latest government initiative to stimulate business growth in the provinces – and is offering grants of between £25,000 and £1m.

It is hoped that successful applicants will receive support worth up to 40% of the total cost of their projects: stimulating growth in the farm, forestry, tourism and agri-food sectors.

Adam Quinney, vice president of the National Farmers Union, celebrated the introduction of the grants – which are available to companies of all sizes – saying: “DEFRA wants the capital grants to support projects that will be a ‘game-changer’ in transforming farm businesses. We share this ambition of wanting the fund to bring about real change.

“It (the funding) must be used to facilitate investment in projects that will bring lasting benefits, and prepare businesses for the future.”

Applications for The Rural Economy Grant are open until April 30. For more information or to apply, visit the RDPE Network website

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