Grants launched for rural micro-businesses

  • 1-17-2013

A £1m grant fund has been launched by the Heart of the South West LEP (HotSW) to create jobs for rural businesses in Devon and Somerset.

The fund is in addition to the government's £2.9m investment in the Rural Growth Network and allows enterprises with ten employees or less to apply for grants of more than £10,000 each.

There is no upper limit to the funding although applicants will need to meet 60 per cent of project costs with the grant covering a maximum of 40 percent.

The scheme is part of Defra's Rural Development Programme.

Tim Jones, chairman of HotSW said: "Micro-enterprises are a vital component of the Devon and Somerset rural economy, representing approximately 90 per cent of the businesses across the two counties.

"The Rural Economy Grant will develop, expand and stimulate economic growth, innovation and employment opportunities and help ensure that our rural communities remain active and vibrant places in which to live and work."

Rural affairs minister Richard Benyon added: "This extra funding will give aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to turn their most ambitious business plans into reality."

The Heart of the South West's Rural Growth Network in the region is set to create around 1,300 new jobs in the area.

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