£450k Small Grants for Agri-food Businesses

Rural Business Investment SchemeFollowing the successful delivery of the Rural Business Investment Scheme, Cornwall Development Company (CDC) has secured a further £450,000 to continue to build upon the good work that has been achieved to date.

The original scheme opened in January 2013 and supported 20 projects across the county with small grants. From £500,000 of public investment the scheme has leveraged £1,430,000 of total investment in farming, food and small rural businesses, within 12 months. The scheme has supported projects such as The Old Mill with the development of an on farm local food & events space and the Cornish Food Box Company with the development of their local food distribution hub in the heart of Truro.

In total the investments have resulted in the creation of 30 new jobs many of which are already in place. You can find more information about the projects that have been supported on the CDC website.

The new funds will specifically target agri-food businesses (processing or adding value to primary agricultural, horticultural or forestry products). Businesses classified as a Small and Medium Enterprise are eligible to apply. Grant rates will vary with funding weighted to support small businesses. Projects must demonstrate proposals that result in business development and growth (creation of jobs, increased efficiency, profitability and benefits to the rural economy).

The funding will support up to 40% of agreed project costs. The grant rate that can be applied for will depend upon the type of activity undertaken by the business, advice will be provided. Applicants can make a grant request of between £10,000 and £25,000, which means the minimum project size will need to be at least £25,000, however grant requests outside these ranges may be considered in exceptional circumstances.

The scheme will be managed by CDC and is part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, DEFRA and Cornwall Council. The scheme is now open to expressions of interest. Timescales are very tight; funds must be allocated by June 2014 and successful applicants must be able to complete project investment and claims by 31st December, 2014.

For more information and to access an expression of interest form please visit www.cornwalldevelopmentcompany.co.uk/rbis or if you would like to discuss a project idea please contact: Emma Kehyaian, Rural Delivery Co-ordinator – 01209 616092 or 07973813803 email: emma.kehyaian@cornwalldevelopmentcompany.co.uk

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