Up to £25,000 available to local businesses through REPF grant
Businesses in the Forest of Dean are being invited to apply for a second round of Rural Business Grants to develop and grow their business. This funding is available for a limited time, so businesses are being encouraged to act quickly so they do not miss out.
Cabinet Member for the Economy, Councillor Johnathan Lane, said:
“The Rural Business Grants are a fantastic opportunity for local businesses to get some financial support to help them develop in a sustainable way.
“In round one, two businesses were awarded the grant, and it’s great to see that they are getting their projects underway.
“We’ve also been meeting with local businesses and listening to the feedback we’ve received. Many have ambitious plans for the future, so it’s brilliant that we’re able to offer this funding opportunity to even more people.
“This is an opportunity for businesses to bring their plans to life and I’d encourage any business that is eligible to apply. Find out more about the support available to you and your business on the Councils dedicated business support page.”
The rural business grant was established after the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs identified the Forest of Dean as an eligible location for Rural England Prosperity Funding (REPF). The aim of the REPF is to improve the productivity of rural areas and its goals are linked to the Shared Prosperity Fund.
Applications to the second round of funding are currently open and will close on the 3rd March 2024.
Applications are open to existing micro-businesses (fewer than 10 employees), small businesses (fewer than 250 employees) and social enterprises.
Eligible uses of the grant include:
- Developing and promoting the visitor economy.
- Farm diversification to generate new income streams.
- Improving digital connectivity infrastructure.
- Supporting new to firm innovation, energy efficient and low carbon technologies.
- Improving land & premises security.
Grant funding awards will be between £3,000 - £25,000, with 20% match funding required and the funding is for projects that will be completed between 1st April 2024 and 31st March 2025.
Applications will be considered by a panel of representatives from the District Council, Tourism Association, GFirst LEP, Federation of Small Businesses and private sector.
A webinar has been arranged for Friday 2nd February at 9am to run through the grant scheme and answer any questions people may have. Those who are interested in attending please use the following link to register your space: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYqd-utpjMoGN1C5aqIcyWONSpMEX8IROnQ
In the previous round, two businesses were awarded over £22,000 between them to make improvements to their business. Plump Hill Farm in Longhope is using the grant to increase the security of their farm. Meanwhile, Forest Deli in Coleford is using it to expand the sale and production of their own brand, home-grown products.
Any businesses interested in applying will find further information on the Finance and Funding page on the Council’s website: https://www.fdean.gov.uk/business-and-licensing/business-support-and-advice/finance-and-funding/