New growth funding for rural businesses

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In a major boost to jobs and growth in rural areas, businesses are being invited to submit expressions of interest for support under the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), with £6.5 million available in the GCGP area.

The RDPE Growth Programme supports projects that invest in building businesses, creating new jobs and growing the economy in rural areas.

GCGP has worked closely with the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) to develop the calls and to ensure they respond to the needs of our rural businesses. The calls are for projects to support food processing and business development and will remain open for an initial period of 12 months.

Neil Darwin, Chief Executive of GCGP, said:

“This is excellent news for our rural small and micro-businesses and for our vital food and drink sector, which plays an important role in the GCGP economy.

“We are looking to support high quality, high impact investments and we encourage small rural businesses to grasp this opportunity.”

After listening to feedback, improvements have been made to make applying for Growth Programme funding easier:

  • Calls are on a single page on UKwhich holds all the information applicants need
  • The page includes handbooks for each type of call, which include information on what activity is eligible and how to apply
  • Each handbook also contains a LEP Directory, which lists each LEP area that is participating in each of the calls. It also provides a brief summary of the local priorities applicants will need to deliver against.

Information about the calls and the application process, including the Expression of Interest form and guidance on how to complete it, are available here:

The call for Food Processing Grants in the GCGP area can be found here:

The call for Business Development Grants in the GCGP area can be found here:

For informal advice about the calls and how to apply, please contact the CPCA Growth Hub team  on 01480 277180 or at



Notes for editors

The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) is administered by the Rural Payments Agency and is part-funded from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)


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