Millions in European Funding available for rural businesses in Suffolk and Norfolk

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Nearly £10million of European funding is now available for rural businesses in Suffolk and Norfolk.

Calls for applications for the latest round of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) Growth Programme have now opened and projects can come forward throughout 2017.

The latest calls include:

· £4.17million available to support food processing businesses. Grants from £60,000 up to £1million will be available to food processing firms of all sizes in rural and urban areas for projects which generate new jobs.

· £3.06million available for rural business development. This is for non-agricultural activity in Defra-designated rural areas. Grants of between £50,000 and £170,000 will be available for capital expenditure on projects which will generate new jobs.

·£2.41million available for improving rural tourism infrastructure. There grants of between £50,000 and £170,000 are for capital projects, such as visitor attractions, signage and schemes to improve visitor connectivity, like footpaths. This fund will not be available for visitor accommodation schemes, which can be funded through the business development call.

Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “European funding remains a crucial source of investment in supporting local businesses to achieve their growth ambitions. As long as the UK continues to be a member of the EU we want to ensure that we maximise the funding available in New Anglia.”

To find out more about the latest calls and for help deciding whether these funds are suitable for your growth plans, contact Emma Taylor in Norfolk on 01603 222735 / emma.taylor@norfolk.gov.uk or Matthew Jones in Suffolk on 07860 917014 / matt.jones@suffolk.gov.uk .

Visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rdpe-growth-programme for full details and to apply.