Grants for businesses

Grants for businesses

Some aspects of the Programme are now temporarily closed or extremely limited outside
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

The types of businesses that can apply for RDPE grants and
activities that can be funded are determined by European Commission
regulation and priorities set out in the South
West Regional Implementation Plan
. Regulations are
complex so for a more detailed discussion, contact Business Link’s
Rural Service on 0845 600 9966.

There are five main areas for direct grants to businesses:

Farm diversification

This offers support to farms to set up or develop other
businesses to underpin the farm’s income from agriculture and
strengthen the rural economy. Examples of activity that could be
supported include:

  • Farm shops, rural crafts and other retail
  • Renewable energy, recycling
  • Conversion of farm buildings to other economic use

For examples of projects funded under this RDPE theme, go to the
 section. Applicants must be a member of a farm
household and actively involved in agriculture at the time of the

Adding value

This aims to improve processing and marketing of primary
agricultural and forestry products. It includes:

  • developing new products and processing facilities
  • opening up new markets including local or niche markets
  • improving quality standards, occupational health and
  • enhancing environmental performance and reducing waste

For examples of projects already funded under this RDPE theme,
go to the approved
 section. Businesses don’t necessarily need to be
located in a rural area, provided that they draw their raw
materials from identifiable agriculture or forestry producers.

Rural micro-enterprises

These are businesses with up to ten full time equivalent
employees and a turnover of less than €2 million. Support could be
available to set up or develop a micro-enterprise where a business

  • Has strong links to the farming or forestry sector
  • Is increasing the adoption of renewable energy or
  • Is providing basic services in rural areas

Activities covered include market research, branding and design,
start-up costs and capital investment. For further detail,
see  Guidance
Note 04 – Support for Rural Micro-Enterprises
. Businesses
do not necessarily need to be located in a rural area, provided
that activities supported take place there.

Agricultural resource management

Farmers and growers can get expert advice on managing their
resources. This could lead to funding towards the costs of putting
the adviser’s recommendations into practice. For more details, go
to the resource

Forestry sector support

This aims to enhance the economic value of forests and
woodlands. There is a range of potential grants available to
woodland owners and managers, forestry contractors and primary
processors. For more detail, go to the forestry sector

General guidelines

Most grants will be no more than 50% of the projects’ full
costs. If a project requires planning permission, this must be in
place before an application is made. In general, applications to
provide tourist accommodation will not be considered. Grants cannot
be given for activities that have already taken place.

Applicants must receive written approval for a project before
starting work on it. More details on grant conditions are available
at guidance for applicants.