EAFRD Growth Programme funding for rural businesses

/ / Member News

Round 3 of the EAFRD Growth Programme opened for expression of interest applications on 4th November 2019.

This funding opportunity is primarily aimed at developing rural businesses and partners delivering tourism Infrastructure projects and is the last opportunity to secure grant funding under the EAFRD programme.

To help promote the funding opportunity, gauge interest and identify potential eligible projects, a briefing event is being held on the morning of Monday 16th December at Rodbaston College near Penkridge, Staffordshire at 10.00 am until 12.00 noon. The event is aimed at rural businesses and partners interested in submitting an expression of interest application before the bidding window closes on 16th February 2020.

The event will start at 10.00am with tea/coffee on arrival and those attending will be able to find out the latest criteria and bidding timeline for the Fund, as well as get expert advice and guidance from DEFRA’s Growth Team.

This funding opportunity has been achieved through agreement with LEP areas to establish an EAFRD Growth Programme National Reserve Fund (NRF). The new call will focus on the three themes of Business Development, Food Processing and Rural Tourism Infrastructure, as was the case in the previous EAFRD calls. As this is a national call, all three themes will be available in all 36 LEP areas, that have had an EAFRD allocation, and therefore competition for funding is expected to be high.

Further details on the call can be found via:


The total grant available under the call will be a minimum of £35 million and successful bids will need to demonstrate how they will boost the rural economy and create local jobs across rural areas. For this final funding round, the minimum value threshold for grants has come down from £35,000 to £20,000, meaning that more small or micro-businesses can be eligible for grant support. If there is a significant response to the call and the quality of applications is high, the overall budget for the fund could be increased to up to £50 million.

Attendance at the event is free of charge, but places are limited. To reserve your place please complete the EAFRD Growth Programme Briefing event 16th Dec 2019 Booking Form and return to chris.read@staffordshire.gov.uk by 9th December 2019.


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