Could your small business use a £5k Government grant?
Small Fenland businesses and farmers can now apply for a Government grant of up to £5,000 to help them thrive.
Businesses have until 5pm on Friday, October 20, to lodge an expression of interest. And must be able to invest the funds by the end of February next year.
The 'Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF)' grants can support up to half the cost of capital projects and purchases - that is investments into assets, like tools, equipment, computers and machinery.
The grants are being delivered by Fenland District Council's economic growth team Fenland for Business thanks to funding awarded to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority by the Government's Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
The fund can support any business (including farming businesses) in the Central Government defined Fenland Rural England Prosperity Fund area, which includes most of Fenland, but excludes Wisbech, Elm and Friday Bridge.
A Fenland for Business spokesman said: "We're delighted to be able to offer this helping hand to Fenland businesses.
"It's a very broad scheme that can help towards a wide variety of projects.
"We'd urge businesses to apply - it's not every day you get the offer of £5,000 to grow your business. This really is an offer that is as good as it looks with wider benefits for the whole district by supporting businesses, which provide jobs and prosperity in our communities."
- have four to 19 employees
- can spend the grant by the end of February 2024
- can fund half of their project themselves or with match-funding from elsewhere
- cannot have received funding for this project from another Defra scheme, including the Farming Investment Fund
- are based in the Central Government defined Fenland Rural England Prosperity Fund area - this includes most of Fenland, but excludes Wisbech, Elm and Friday Bridge (as defined by the map in the grant eligibility check on the Fenland for Business rural grant fund webpage.)
A wide range of projects could be successful in gaining funding. Farming and tourism business applications are particularly welcomed. This could include projects that support farm diversification such as for farms that have created wedding venues, tourist attractions and farm shops.
The grants cannot support revenue costs, which are day-to-day expenses including wages.
Fenland District Council has a total of £109,000 to award this financial year. It will be awarded in grants of up to £5,000 per business and can cover a maximum of half of the costs of a project.
The Rural Fund supports the aims of the government's Levelling Up White Paper and Future Farming Programme.
It aims to improve productivity and strengthen the economy in areas Government has identified as being rural and therefore, it says, facing potential challenges of lower productivity rates, poorer connectivity and poorer access to key services. It created the fund to support rural communities and new and existing rural businesses to develop new products and facilities that will be of wider benefit to the local economy. This includes farm businesses looking to diversify income streams.
Applications for the Fenland Rural England Prosperity Fund are now closed.
Expressions of interest will be assessed using a standardised scoring process and those applicants that exceed the scoring threshold will be invited to complete the full grant application.
For an informal chat and guidance about the grants available contact email@example.com or call 07752 700248.