Three funding calls have been announced by the Rural Development Programme for England that will support business development in rural communities.  More than £6.5m of funding is available across three different themes which are; Food Processing, Business Development and Rural Tourism Infrastructure.  The grants are funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), which is aligned to the wider European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).

The calls are open to food and drink processors, farmers, rural businesses in general (including social and community enterprises) and rural tourism providers.  All projects must be located in the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly area.

What’s the funding application process?

If you have an idea, you are encouraged to come forward and make it a reality.  Read through the funding handbook (details below) and submit an Expression of Interest explaining your project.  Projects that are endorsed will be invited to complete a full application and if successful a funding agreement will be put in place.  Then it’s the really exciting part of delivering the project.  After the work is completed and has been paid for you can claim your money.

The three funding themes and allocations are;

  • Business Development – £1.35m
  • Food processing (including drinks processing) –  £3m
  • Rural Tourism Infrastructure – £2.17m

Application guidance

All applicants are encouraged to read the relevant funding theme guide which has been produced and is available on the RDPE website at –

Further support and guidance is also available from David Rodda MBE, Rural Delivery Manager at the Cornwall Development Company who is in post to support applicants through the EAFRD application process.  He can be contacted on

David stated that  “Like never before we need to get the message out across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly in order to make the most of this opportunity.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.”

Application support workshop

A free to attend workshop is available for potential applicants on February 7th at The Pavillion Centre, Wadebridge.  The workshop is available to farmers, food processors, forestry businesses, rural businesses and community and voluntary organisations as well as their professional advisors .  A panel of guest speakers will guide you through the range of funding options available.  To book a place visit or call 01803 320100.

Notes to editor

The EU’s rural development policy helps the rural areas of the EU to meet the wide range of economic, environmental and social challenges of the 21st century. Frequently called “the second pillar” of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), it complements the system of direct payments to farmers and measures to manage agricultural markets (the so-called “first pillar”). Rural Development policy shares a number of objectives with other European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).

The EU’s rural development policy is funded through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) worth €100 billion from 2014-2020, with each EU country receiving a financial allocation for the 7-year period. This will leverage a further €61 billion of public funding in the Member States.

For further information please contact Alex Ledbrooke, Engagement Officer, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly ITI Support Team (European Structural and Investment Funds)
Mobile – 07854 039960, Tel – 01872 322693, Email –

Website –

Twitter – @GrowthProgramme

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