SWLEP awarded £3.9m investment to fund rural businesses in Swindon and Wiltshire

By Anita Jaynes on 2 February, 2017

The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) has secured a £3.9m fund to create jobs and drive growth in the area’s rural economy. Rural businesses engaged in tourism, food and drink processing and rural innovation are invited to apply for grants under the government’s Rural Development Programme England (RDPE).

The fund is a huge boost to Swindon and Wiltshire’s rural economy. John Mortimer, Chairman of the SWLEP said: “The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) welcomes the £3.9m fund for rural business in our area. Our LEP area has a strong profile of rural businesses engaged in tourism, food and drink and improvement and protection of our natural capital resources. This investment will be instrumental in supporting these small and micro businesses to achieve greater growth and become robust and resilient contributors to the local economy.”

The fund is open to businesses to secure business grants through a competitive application process. Rural businesses targeting higher growth and quality improvements are encouraged to apply. John said: “I encourage our rural businesses to put forward strong proposals for funding their future growth through this programme. Our LEP area has a vibrant rural economy and investing these new funds wisely will give it a further boost, creating new jobs and improving prosperity in our rural communities.”

As a means to support businesses with their proposals the SWLEP in collaboration with the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is organising ‘an applicant workshop’ on February 8 2017, at the Corn Exchange in Devizes. The workshop will cover the building of strong business cases and provide detailed advice on the funding options available and closing dates for applications. More information on the workshop and registration is available on the link-  www.swlep.co.uk/news/322 or on the SWLEP website.

The fund has been allocated to the Swindon and Wiltshire area through the EU’s European Agriculture Food and Rural Development (EAFRD) Fund, managed by the UK Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).