The first call for the Year 2 Strategic Economic Infrastructure Fund (SEIF) is now open (closing date: 23 November 2015). This current call intends to allocate £1m of the budget subject to demand and fund up to five or six projects.
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 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.
Projects may claim for project costs between 2016/17 and 2017/18. 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 guidelines, can progress quickly if selected, are able to commence and make significant progress on site in 2016 and are physically located within the North East RGN operational boundary.
Please note deadlines specified must be adhered to as funding cannot be rolled over into future years. Stage 1 submissions MUST provide realistic timescales for delivery. RGN Executive will remove projects at Stage 2 if it discovers this is not the case.
Please see the Project Call Guidelines document to check the eligibility of projects. Please read these carefully and 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 23rd November 2015.
Further information on the RGN programme can be found here: http://www.archnorthumberland.co.uk/north-east-rural-growth-network/rural-growth-network-news-and-events/