Tuesday, 21 February 2017 12:58

EU funding for M3 rural businesses

Written by  Ruralcity Media
EU funding for M3 rural businesses

Rural businesses around the M3 motorway are to receive a share of £3.6m in European funding.

The funding is being awarded to rural businesses across north Hampshire as well as South and West Surrey.

The rural economy in the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area will benefit from £3.6m in European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) money.

Businesses in rural areas across most of Hampshire and parts of Surrey are being invited to submit expressions of interest.

Three priority areas for the funding programme include, Food Processing, Rural Business Development, and Rural Tourism Infrastructure.

A total of £881,000 will be available in small grants of between £50,000 and £170,000, for businesses in the food processing sector to drive growth and support innovation.

Similarly, the sum of £881,000 in grants also ranging from £50,000 to £170,000, will be available as capital investments to develop Rural Tourism Infrastructure.

The largest share of £1.8 million has been allocated to Rural Business Development to help new and expanding businesses in rural areas grow.

Enterprise M3 and Defra will now host a free workshop for rural businesses interested in applying for the EU fund on 20th March 2017, at Rushmoor Borough Council Offices, Farnborough.

Enterprise ESIF committee chair Zoe Gray said: This will build on the benefits already being derived by several businesses that successfully applied for earlier calls of the ESIF programme."

Rural locations within Enterprise M3 zone contribute about 15% to economic output in the area.

Ms GRay said: "It is really important that rural businesses get the support they need to grow and maximise productivity.

These small grants can be used to build new tourism visitor facilities, or for capacity expansion.

Calls for Expression of Interest are open until 31 January 2018 with regular review points.

For details, visit the Enterprise M3 website.

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