£1.32m awarded to develop rural Peterborough and Rutland economies

OP 073OPPORTUNITY Peterborough and Rutland County Council have secured up to £1.32m in funding to support rural businesses and communities. The funding, which has been awarded through the LEADER programme, will be allocated to local projects that develop the economies of the rural Peterborough and Rutland areas.

The LEADER project aims to improve the competitiveness of farming and forestry whilst supporting small businesses, creating growth and boosting productivity in the rural communities. Farmers, growers and rural businesses can apply for grants towards projects that support the development of the local economy and community.

Rural businesses and community groups are encouraged to apply for grants to help progress an idea or project to grow their business further. The funding will also be available to boost rural tourism, provide cultural and heritage activities for the rural community and support farm diversification.

Steve Bowyer, acting chief executive at economic development company Opportunity Peterborough, said, “We’re delighted to be awarded this funding which will drive further growth into our rural businesses and communities and support emerging companies to develop their ideas. We’re keen to hear from any business or community group in rural Peterborough and Rutland that has an idea that could help their business to grow or diversify.”

The LEADER scheme, part of the Rural Development Programme for England, is jointly funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The project will be delivered by local economic development company, Opportunity Peterborough.

Councillor Terry King, Portfolio Holder for Development at Rutland County Council, said: “The rural economy is hugely important to Rutland and this funding is great news for small businesses – especially those that want to grow and become more competitive but have previously been unable to invest in development. More information about how to apply for funding will be available soon and we are particularly interested to hear about initiatives that would boost tourism, increase farm productivity, provide rural services or add to culture and heritage activities.”

To find out more about the project and view the eligible areas for funding, visit http://opportunitypeterborough.co.uk/projects/leader/

For more details on how to apply for a grant, contact Opportunity Peterborough at samantha.demaio@opportunitypeterborough.co.uk