Farmers Rural Enterprise

Sutton Bank
photo credit Sutton Bank by alh1 CC BY-ND 2.0

Economic times are hard and Yorkshire farmers are a major force for the economic good of Yorkshire and the country. Perhaps that is why there are several support schemes to encourage enterprise, diversification, environment, efficiency and even retail therapy in our rural areas. To get the full picture you need to talk to a lot of quangos including Yorkshire Forward, Business Link, Local Authorities and there associated brands like the Airedale Partnership.

Rural Enterprise Programme REIP

Grants for rural businesses start at £25,000. The percentage of funding available will generally range between 30% and 40% of the total project cost and is dependent on the type of activity being funded. The upper limit for funding varies depending on the type of activity proposed. According to Yorkshire Forward ‘Activity under the following areas can be supported:

Rural business growth—through innovative farm diversifications; rural micro-business creation and development; and investment in the tourism ‘product’. Additionally, land-based businesses will be supported through the development of collaborative ventures.
Investment in supply chains and added value—within the food and forestry primary processing sectors, including innovation and collaboration within the supply chain and on farm renewable energy and resource efficiency.’

Farm Resource Efficiency Programme FREP

The funding will help farmers to buy capital equipment which will benefit both their business and the environment. The following technologies are eligible:

Renewable power—such as small-scale wind turbines (eg 500w-25Kw) and foundations; and hydro-electric, photovoltaic and grid connections
Renewable heat—such as heat-recovery systems; biomass boilers; solar-heat and ground-source heat pumps
Rainwater harvesting/water-recycling systems—including fixed pumps, UV filtration systems, piping, and storage tanks
Manure management—including solid/liquid separator systems such as rotary screens, roller presses, screw presses/augers and nutrient testing kits
Technical fees associated with the commissioning of the above systems would also be eligible.

Applications for grant investment should be for a minimum of £1,500 and a maximum of £25,000 based on 40% of the overall cost.

Rural Business Support Programme RBSP

Grants of up to £25,000 are available through the programme; the minimum grant amount is £2,000 although this will be looked at on a case by case basis. Funding will cover 70% of eligible technical training costs related to the proposal. Training costs should not exceed 50% of the grant total and must be no more than £3,500 per individual. Plus grant investment at 40% towards eligible capital/revenue costs.

Grants for Business Investment GBI

For large industrial projects in the right post code areas larger support may be available. Grant requests below £250,000 will be appraised within the GBI team, between £250,000 and £2m will be appraised at the Regional Industrial Development Board and requests over £2m will be appraised centrally by BIS in London.

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