Businesses and communities in remote areas of Redcar & Cleveland are being urged to apply for a new grant programme which aims to boost productivity and strengthen rural businesses and communities.
Government’s Rural England Prosperity Fund has been launched to support activities that address the challenges faced by rural areas, including lower productivity rates, poorer connectivity and poorer access to key services.
A total of £624,909 is available for small capital projects for micro and small businesses – up to 50 employees – to develop new products and facilities to benefit the local economy. This includes farm businesses looking to diversify revenue streams, growing social enterprises and co-operatives and other small-scale interventions.
It is also open for communities to support new and improved infrastructure, plus small capital grant funding to establish local arts, cultural, heritage and creative activities.
The first round of applications is now open for those in towns, villages or hamlets in Redcar & Cleveland with populations below 10,000, and market or hub towns with populations of up to 30,000 that serve their surrounding area.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “As well as transformative projects in our towns right across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool, we’ve been making sure our more remote communities don’t get left behind.
“This latest cash will benefit small businesses, farms and local people to diversify, improve their areas and make them more connected than ever before. There’s a wealth of untapped potential in these areas and this opportunity should be grabbed with both hands.
“It complements projects like our Indigenous Growth Fund, targeting smaller-scale improvements in all communities, the Rural Community Energy Fund and Tees Flex, to help everyone, no matter where they live.”
Tees Valley Business Board Chair Siobhan McArdle said: “For Tees Valley to flourish, we need to make sure all sectors and businesses get the support that they deserve, including our vital rural businesses.
“This funding could support small companies to develop new products and services or expand their current business footprint, whilst adding value to the business landscape of Redcar & Cleveland and the rural communities it serves.
“I’d call on anyone who is eligible, with a strong business development plan, to apply for funding and make sure they don’t miss out on this business support scheme.”
The Rural England Prosperity Fund is being administered as part of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. To allocate the funding, Defra is using a strict official statistical definition of rural areas based on the 2011 Census.
To check the Defra Magic Map for eligibility, for more information, or to apply for funding, visit www.teesvalley-ca.gov.uk/UKREPF
Sign up below to enter our mailing list for the Tees Valley NewsletterSubscribe →
Join us on social media for the latest news