Growth Programme: grants for the rural economy
- Rural Payments Agency, Rural Development Programme for England Network, and Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
- Part of:
- Common Agricultural Policy reform, Access to the countryside, and Rural grants and payments
- First published:
- 22 March 2015
- Last updated:
- 27 July 2015, see all updates
Find out what grants are available for rural businesses from the Growth Programme and how to apply.
This guidance explains what the Growth Programme is, what grants are available, who can apply for a grant, what they must do if their application is successful.
What is the Growth Programme?
The Growth Programme provides funding to help projects in England which create jobs and help rural economy growth. These grants are funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) manages the grants, working with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).
‘Calls for applications’
The RPA will publish calls for applications. These calls invite applications for grants in specific LEP areas. Each call will reflect the priorities set by the LEP and will clearly state:
- what types of grants are open for applications
- the opening and closing dates and times for applications
Applications received after the closing date and time will not be accepted.
Grants are available for:
- business development
- food processing
- small-scale tourism infrastructure
- tourism cooperation
Available grants in each area and who can apply for them are listed in the table below. Different grants will be available at different times.
|Grants||Who can apply|
|Business development||Micro and small businesses in a rural area, including social enterprises. Farmers wanting to diversify into non-agricultural activities|
|Food processing||Micro, small and medium-sized food-processing businesses processing Annex 1 products (examples include meat, milk, grain and root vegetables)|
|Small scale tourism infrastructure||Rural businesses and rural communities, farmers and land owners|
|Tourism cooperation||Businesses in a rural area. Charities, public bodies, community groups and destination organisations operating in a rural area|
How RPA decide which grants are available and where
There are 39 LEP areas in England and 37 of these areas have EAFRD funding.
LEPs give their recommendations to RPA who then decide which grants to make available in their area based on their local priorities. These are published in LEPs’ European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) strategies.
The ESIF strategies show how Growth Programme funds will be used to help businesses grow and create jobs in local areas. The types of project that can get funding will vary depending on the LEP’s strategy for that area.
Each ‘call for applications’ will explain where to find the relevant LEP’s ESIF strategy. Click here to find your nearest LEP.
Applying for Growth Programme grants
This guidance explains how to find out what grants are available, what applicants need to know before they apply, how to apply for a grant and what to do if an application is successful.
Guidance on available Growth Programme grants – who is eligible, how much funding to apply for and what the grants will and will not cover.
Which grants are available in different areas of England will depend on the priorities set by the Local Enterprise Partnerships.
Download the outline application form. Applicants should also read the guidance on filling out the outline application form.
- Statutory guidance
Published: 22 March 2015
Updated: 27 July 2015
- Updated to show new aspects of the scheme available from the end of July.
- Added reminder of the 19 June deadline for intial calls.
- First published.