Delegates at D2N2’s free Rural Means Business Conference heard about growth opportunities for their enterprises – and how they might access a £3million fund to help them.
The day Conference held at Nottingham Trent University’s Brackenhurst Campus, Southwell, Nottinghamshire, yesterday (February 15) included speakers talking on the EU funding available to help rural businesses. Today’s free event was organised by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership – the private-sector led partnership which promotes economic growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – and its D2N2 Growth Hub, which provides services to enable urban and rural small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to grow.
A £3million fund was announced by D2N2 last month (January) to help micro businesses, companies producing food products in the LEP’s rural areas and to enhance recreational cycle networks to boost tourism in the countryside.
Money for three programmes – entitled Business Development, Food Processing and Rural Tourism Infrastructure – is now available for businesses and organisations with projects to bid into. The funding comes from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) portion of D2N2’s wider allocation of € 250million in European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF); money to be used by D2N2 to invest in a wide range of projects which promote economic growth and jobs creation in its area (up to 2020).
Information about all three programmes and how to apply for funding can be found at Gov.UK website link www.gov.uk/government/publications/rdpe-growth-programme Grants given will only cover a percentage of projects’ costs, with successful bidders expected to also invest.
The Rural Conference attracted 40 delegates. It follows one held by D2N2 in 2015.
Peter Richardson, Chair of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Targeted funding by the D2N2 LEP, such as through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, helps businesses in the rural parts of our area to grow.
“Many of the LEP area’s jobs are outside urban areas but these enterprises do not necessarily have access to the same infrastructure and business development opportunities as those in our towns and cities.”
For more information about how the D2N2 LEP is using its ESIF funding to grow the economy of and jobs in its area of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire go to web link www.d2n2lep.org/EUFunding