In Funding

The competitive capital funding call for the Strategic Economic Infrastructure fund (SEIF) is now open again until 25 March.

The Call plans to commit and spend £1.46m on projects that can substantially spend and deliver outputs in 2016/17 and fully complete by March 2018. Projects may claim for project costs after approval from 2016 to the end of March 2018.

The fund is designed to stimulate investment in the development of business infrastructure in rural areas, including premises for new micro enterprises, small firms needing move-on accommodation, and facilities for larger and growing businesses. It will also support investment in strategic tourism assets, transforming the quality and added value of the rural tourism economy, as well as supporting infrastructure works needed to unlock employment development sites.

There are no firm minimum and maximum grant thresholds. However, indicatively projects requiring less than £40,000 grant will have to clearly demonstrate strategic impact in their community and why other rural funding, including new rural Leader programmes may be unavailable to support such projects. Any project seeking over circa £500,000 would need to be clearly of regional importance to the rural economy and able to offer a range of economic benefits beyond a local level.

Applicants must provide a minimum of 60% match funding and will need to comply with State Aid rules. If work has already started on a project it is ineligible for SEIF support.

The Rural Growth Network invites project applications that are a strong fit with the guidance, can progress quickly if selected, are able to commence and make significant progress on site in 2016/17 and are physically located within the North East RGN operational boundary.

Please see the Project Call Guidance document to check the eligibility of projects. If you consider your project to be eligible and would like an application form to apply or you require further clarification please contact:
Julie Bullen, RGN Implementation Officer: [email protected] Tel: 01670 528476

The deadline for submission of Stage 1 applications is 12.00 noon 25th March.

Further information on the RGN programme can be found by following the link below:-
http://www.archnorthumberland.co.uk/arch-business/rural-growth-network-2-1

Additional rural grant funding opportunities:-

Rural Business Growth Fund (RBGF)
Due to high demand the Rural Business Growth Fund is now closed to further applications for 2016/2017.

Funding is expected to be available from April 2017 onwards and a further call for projects will be made in late autumn 2016 for this funding.

Other Rural Funding Opportunities

LEADER
LEADER funding is available for rural businesses across Northumberland, Gateshead and County Durham. The LEADER programme aims to fund farmers, foresters and other local rural businesses and communities to help develop enterprises within rural areas, create jobs and support the rural economy.

Successful applications must contribute to one of the following LEADER priorities:
· Farm productivity
· Forestry
· Micro/ small business and farm diversification
· Rural tourism
· Rural services
· Culture and Heritage

For more information visit:-

· Northumberland Uplands – www.nuleader.eu
· Northumberland Coast and Lowlands – www.leadercoastandlowlands.org.uk

EAFRD – Tourism and Business Support Grant Programmes
Grant programmes are currently delayed and further information will not be forthcoming until the spring.

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Gavin Cordwell-Smith is Chief Executive of the site developer, the Hellens Group.Get Digital North East