Thursday, May 30, 2024

North Kesteven’s rural firms encouraged to explore growth grant potential

Expressions of interest are open for a capital grant scheme which will help rural businesses in North Kesteven invest in sustainable growth.

The Rural Business Grant is specifically aimed at supporting new and existing rural businesses to develop products, services and facilities of wider benefit to the local economy.

Possible examples include farm businesses looking to diversify income streams, growth in the visitor economy including visitor accommodation, and investments in power or energy efficiency which will make a positive contribution to the District reaching net zero.

The grant is being delivered by North Kesteven District Council for DEFRA, under the Rural England Prosperity Fund. The first window for Expressions of Interest is open from now until Thursday 1 June.

Digital Expression of Interest forms can be found online at www.businessnk.co.uk

There’ll then be a first call for full applications, and this will take place when the Expressions of Interest window has closed.

North Kesteven District Council Economic Development Manager Alan Gray said: “We’re inviting rural businesses in North Kesteven to register their interest now in the Rural Business Grant, if they have a project they think may be eligible.

“These early indications will allow our grants team to make initial assessments of eligibility and provide help where needed from the start, including ensuring applicants are given the time and support necessary to refine and develop investments in line with the objectives of the Rural England Prosperity Fund and meet the various requirements for evidence.

“It will also help ensure that proper consideration is given to projects that may require planning permission, or any additional funding or legal matters which need to be concluded within the time frame set out for the delivery of projects.”

The minimum grant available through the Rural Business Grant is £5,000, and depending on the project and investment needed applicants may be required to provide match funding.

The Rural Business Grant will run until all funds have been awarded, and all projects must be deliverable before 31 March 2025. Full details on eligibility criteria are available with the Expressions of Interest form online.

North Kesteven’s Rural England Prosperity Fund allocation is an addendum to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, to help support rural areas in England and the two Levelling Up Fund missions of improving living standards and growing pride of place. The Rural Business Grant has received £450,000 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

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