New funding announced for rural businesses in Central Bedfordshire


£535,000 of European Funding is now available to support rural businesses across the South East Midlands, including Central Bedfordshire.

This funding is the second call for projects this year under the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership’s (SEMLEP’s) European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) programme and is part of SEMLEP’s commitment to boosting economic growth and prosperity in the rural and tourism sectors.

Projects under this call must specifically contribute to growth and productivity in the tourism, leisure and recreation sectors. Grants, from £35,000 to £140,000, are available to support projects that focus on small scale tourism infrastructure. This funding has an intervention rate of 40% so applicants would need to contribute 60% of the total project cost.

Micro, small and medium-sized rural businesses and community groups based in the rural areas of SEMLEP, including Central Bedfordshire, are invited to apply. 

Examples of projects that could be supported include:
• existing and new visitor attractions
• culture, leisure and heritage visitor activities
• infrastructure to help people connect to the natural environment, such as paths and cycle ways
• small scale tourism infrastructure, for example linking local attractions together
• provision of information to improves visitor experience

Applications will be prioritised for projects which create new jobs, increase the number of day and overnight visitors and increase visitor spend. Please note that applications for tourism accommodation will not be supported under this call.

The deadline for applications is 27 November 2015.

For further information, contact SEMLEP on 01234 436100 or visit the SEMLEP website.

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