Expressions of interest for the government’s RDPE (Rural Development Programme for England) Growth Programme are currently being invited. The RDPE grant is intended to help fund the cost of capital expenditure on tourism infrastructure – in short, it aims to support projects that will encourage more tourists to come, to stay longer and to spend more money in rural areas.
‘Capital investment in visitor attractions’ is stated as an example of a suitable project for potential grant funding, so if you are a farmer looking to diversify, or another type of small rural business, take a look and consider whether your project idea may be eligible. The grant is normally a minimum of £35,000, up to £150,000 depending on the LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) area, though this does increase to £250,000 in one particular area. You can check to see what your LEPs local priorities are in the RDPE handbook which will help you to determine whether or not your project may be suitable.
The deadline for applications has just been extended to 31st May 2018, but don’t leave it to long to apply. If your Expression of Interest is successful you will be invited to make a full application.
Wondering if Brexit will affect the RDPE funding? The RDPE Handbook states that “The government has confirmed that it will guarantee funding for RDPE Growth Programme grants if these are agreed and signed before the UK’s departure from the EU, even if the grant agreements continue after we have left the EU”.
Full details can be found on www.gov.uk, search for ‘RDPE Growth’.
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