Rural Development Programme for funding in England

Published August 18th, 2017

The Rural Development Programme for funding in England has recently become available. Will Davies, business consultant based in Berrys Kettering office, answers key questions:

  1. Who should pay attention to these proposals? Anyone who wants to expand their rural business or, in the case of forestry and water, anyone who wants to make their processes more efficient should get in touch to see whether they would be eligible.
  2. How much has been made available in grants by the RDPE for rural businesses and broadband projects? There is £200m available in grants currently.
  3. How much has been made available to help improve farm productivity and efficiency? £120m has been made available for farmers, foresters and landowners.
  4. Is the first round of funding open yet? When is the deadline? The first round opened on Monday 31st July and deadline for all applications will be in April 2018.
  5. What project categories are included in this first round of funding? Water Resource Management and Forestry Productivity are the initial categories, with further rounds available later in the year.
  6. Are there restrictions on who can apply for these grants? The forestry grants are only available to people who manage over 10ha of private forest or contractors managing fewer than 250ha and a turnover of 50 million euros or less.

    Likewise, the Water Resource Management grants are eligible for businesses irrigating crops using water bodies classified as in “good” or “high” condition or where the “Reason for Not Attaining Good” status (RNAG) does not relate to the quantity of water available. Grants are available where a project will improve productivity, enhance resilience (to climate change), improve efficiency (of water use), introduce innovation, grow the business, or encourage collaboration and partnership

  7. If I submit my application before the UK leaves the EU will I see any benefits? All projects agreed before the UK leaves the EU will be guaranteed for their lifetime.
  8. What does the application process involve? The application process involves the submission of a proposal. The project and applicant will then be checked for eligibility before being scored and ranked against other submissions for the same grant type. Only the highest scoring applicants will be successful.
  9. Will any other funding be made available later this year? Funding for broadband, rural business support, on-farm food processing, arable and horticultural productivity and resource efficiency will be made available later in the year.
  10. What should I do if I think I might be eligible? Get in touch! I’m happy to have a no obligation chat about the funding – just give me a call on 01536 213175 or email