Funding opportunities

Current funding streams open for applications

On this page, you can find out more about current funding opportunities. Please scroll down:

Local Growth Fund

There are currently no calls open under our LGF programme.

North East Investment Fund

The North East Investment Fund is currently open for applications. Find out more here.

European Funding


There are currently a number of opportunities for organisations to apply for European Funding that are listed below:

European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) calls

The Business Development, Food Processing and Rural Tourism Infrastructure grants are now open to new applications. You must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) form before midnight on 16 February 2020.

You could be eligible for a Growth Programme grant if your business is carrying out a project to create jobs or bring more money into the rural economy.

There are three types of grant:

  • Business development
  • Food processing
  • Rural tourism infrastructure

For this funding round of the Growth Programme, the threshold for minimum grants has come down from £35,000 to £20,000, meaning that more small or micro-businesses can be eligible for a grant for their projects. The grants are funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), which is part of the European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF).

How to apply

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) will assess all expressions of interest. RPA will look for projects that meet the national and local priorities for funding, and will decide which meet the criteria the best. This means grants are not awarded automatically to an applicant.

There is a two-part application process (starting with submitting an ‘expression of interest’) to tell RPA about the work you’re doing and how the grant could help you with it. The RDPE Growth Programme handbook is available on GOV.UK and contains information on which projects are deemed eligible for a grant and how to apply.

If RPA assesses that your expression of interest is suitable, they will invite you to submit a full application.

Rural Community Energy Fund

Rural Community Energy Fund

The Rural Community Energy Fund aims to support rural communities across England to develop community led renewable energy projects. Developing renewable energy at a community level helps meet climate commitments whilst also offering benefits to the local community. The fund offers an opportunity to cover the up-front costs that are often prohibitive to community scale energy projects. Some of the technologies that can be explored include solar PV, heat pumps, hydropower and low carbon heat networks.

There are two stages to the funding. The first stage is for communities that are just beginning to explore options for renewable energy generation, this stage offers grants of up to £40,000 to cover consultancy and professional costs to determine if the project idea is feasible. The second stage offers a grant of up to £100,000 to look at creating full business cases for projects that stand a good chance of securing planning permission and being delivered.

Housing Associations

The Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) is also open to applications and Registered Social Landlords with rural housing stock are invited to apply. The fund offers grants of up to £40,000 to determine the technical feasibility of community scale renewable energy projects.

How to apply

For more information about the fund and to discuss any initial ideas or thoughts please contact Josh Sawyer on 07584154510 or [email protected]

Want to find out more about projects that the LEP has funded?

View our projects listing now