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Katy McIntosh


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Rural Growth Network

Delivered by Rural Growth Network

The national Rural Growth Network has specific funding and expertise available for businesses located in rural locations, to help generate rural economic growth. The North East Rural Growth Network is one of five regional growth networks across England, covering Northumberland, Durham and Gateshead.

The Rural Growth Network grant programme is now open, with funding of  £1.2m available. Funding is available on a first come first served basis.

Expression of Interest (Stage 1) applications can be received until midnight 31 May 2018., subject to availability of funds.

There are two grant schemes available, offering up to a maximum of 40% of eligible project costs. Value for money will be based on a minimum of £15,000 of grant per job created. Applicants must demonstrate a clear need for the project.

The grants are:

Strategic Economic Infrastructure Fund (SEIF)

  • Available to SME and large businesses.
  • Grants of £40,000 to £500,000 for creation of multiple business units or enterprise hubs, site preparation works to unlock economic development sites and strategic tourism projects.

Rural Business Growth Fund (RBGF)

  • Only available to medium sized businesses (over 49 employees) with clear growth plans to create new jobs.
  • Grants of £10,000 to £60,000 are available for businesses to expand productivity or diversify into new markets. Grant can be used to fund expansion or improvements to business premises and/or to purchase capital machinery and equipment.

Target sectors are:

  • Energy Products
  • Environmental Products
  • Food and drink production
  • Manufacturing
  • Knowledge Intensive Businesses (technical/professional)
  • Niche tourism projects.

Tourism accommodation will also be accepted.

Please note that Micro and Small businesses that are unable to access LEADER or RDPE Growth Programme funds (due to location) may also be considered for RBGF and you should contact the RGN Team to discuss this.

To check your eligibility, you should read the application guidance through the following link.