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Rural Growth Network Grant Programme funding for 2016/2017 covering rural Durham, Gateshead and Northumberland

A project call for Expression of Interest to the Rural Business Growth Fund (RBGF) is now open for applications.

This is one of two new Rural Growth Network (RGN) funding schemes funded by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.

This capital fund is designed to boost enterprise and business growth through expansion of productivity or diversifying into new markets or products across much of rural Northumberland, County Durham and Gateshead.

Grant support will be directed at micro, small and medium sized businesses with growth plans. Priority will be for businesses operating in target sectors within the North East Rural Growth Network (NE RGN) area.

Grants will be available at 40% of eligible costs from a minimum of £10,000 to £60,000, subject to state aid.

Activities which can be supported include:

• Improvements/upgrade/expansion of business premises
• Purchase of capital plant and equipment

Priority sectors include:

• Manufacturing
• Knowledge Intensive Businesses
• Renewable Energy
• Environment
• Food and Drink and High Value Tourism (Tourism accommodation projects are not included due to alternative funding sources.)

Projects will have until 31st December to submit a completed Expression of Interest.

It is a competitive process and applications are invited from projects that are well-developed, are a good fit with the eligibility criteria and capable of starting spending in 2016.

Selected projects will be asked to progress at risk to Stage 2.

Final decisions will be made in April 2016, which will enable successful projects to commence.

For more information and to read summary guidance on RBGF, please visit: http://www.archnorthumberland.co.uk/north-east-rural-growth-network/rural-growth-network-news-events/ or contact Louise Liddle, RGN Implementation Officer on [email protected] or call 01670 528458.

It is anticipated that a further call for RBGF projects will be issued in February 2016.

Please note this fund will be in addition to the Strategic Economic Infrastructure Fund (SEIF). A Call for SEIF projects is currently open and more information is available here http://bit.ly/1PrSwjq