European policy consultants
Rural development and renewable energy

Rural Economy Grant Scheme (currently closed to new applications)

This initial stage required applicants to provide an outline of their project, detailing how it would fit with the overall aims of the appropriate theme (farm competiveness, agri-food, tourism, forestry, and micro-enterprise), the need and demand for the investment, and benefits of the project.

There will be further application rounds if funds allow.

• REG Applicant Handbook
• Farm Competiveness - Nutrient Management Appendix
• Animal Health and Welfare Appendix
• Water Resource Management Appendix
• Tourism Appendix
• Forestry Appendix
• Agri-Food Technical Appendix

For more information, and for the application forms, go to

Or contact Eurinco for help in submitting an outline application to meet the deadline.

Measures in the Rural Economy Growth Review include:

£100m in rural development funding from the RDPE to help small businesses improve their skills, facilities and competitiveness
Grants totalling £20m to extend superfast broadband to the most remote areas
£15m for new Rural Growth Networks to help rural areas overcome barriers to growth (poor infrastructure, scarcity of business premises or lack of business networks).
Making it easier to change the use of farm buildings to address the shortage of rural business premises
Funding to promote rural tourism (£25m to include £10m RDPE funding)
Loans of up to £15m for community-owned renewable energy schemes
A new action plan to support the agri-food sector, including £500,000 to support innovation and highlight opportunities for growth.

Rural businesses will also benefit from the £1 billion Business Finance Partnership, announced by the Chancellor, which will invest in mid-sized businesses and SMEs through non-bank channels.

For more information, see

Defra website currently (21st January 2013) states:
"Defra have received a very high number of applications to date. Any future application round will be dependent on the availability of RDPE funds following the appraisal and selection of the applications received to date."