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21 December 2017
The RDPE Growth Programme: Important Updates and How to Apply for Funding
The UK government’s RDPE Growth Programme provides funding to rural businesses that are looking to undergo projects which will create jobs or bring more money into the country’s rural economy. As Brexit approaches, many British farmers may be looking to diversify their income and the RDPE Programme may, therefore, be of particular interest. The government has confirmed that funding for RDPE Growth Programme grants will be guaranteed post-Brexit, providing that these are agreed and signed prior to the UK’s departure from the European Union.
The purpose of these grants is to help rural businesses gain access to new national and international markets, with new or existing product offerings, by allowing for the creation of new processing facilities. The funding provides a great opportunity for British farmers to diversify their income.
The Programme offers three types of grant: business development, food processing and rural tourism infrastructure. The scheme is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), which is part of the European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF), and grants are available in a number of Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas. The minimum amount for any one grant is generally £35,000, and covers up to 40% of the project’s eligible costs, but this varies in certain LEP areas, along with the total amount of funding available in each area.
The programme was recently updated to increase the availability of grants and to extend the deadline for expression of interest submissions to 31st May 2018.
In the first instance, anyone looking to apply for funding via the RDPE Growth Programme must fill out an initial expression of interest (EOI) form. This expression of interest will then be reviewed by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) and, if successful, the applicant will then be invited to submit a full application. Otherwise, the expression of interest will be rejected.
The government describes this two-part application process as being especially rigorous, with candidates needing to sell their idea, prove its value for money and carry out sufficient market research to point towards the success of the venture. Candidates will be required to keep detailed records on the project, including proof of how much the various elements of the project will cost.
King West is able to work with applicants on both their EOI forms and their full applications in order to maximise the chance of the submission being successful and a grant being received. Those wishing to ascertain whether or not they are eligible for a grant, or looking for help in submitting an application, should, in the first instance, contact King West on 01858 435970, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.