News: May 2012

Date posted: 17/05/12


This initiative came out of Defra’s Rural Growth Review and offered £15m for 6 RGNs across England. The idea was that Local Enterprise Partnerships would bid for the funding. In the North East, the LEP possesses little in the way of rural skills, so NEFRAN drew up the bid on its behalf. The bid was put together in a very short time scale by staff from Northumberland County Council and the Northumberland National Park. The bid totalled £3m on the basis that we would be unlikely to get 100% of what we asked for. In the Budget Statement, it was announced that only 5 bids had been successful, of which the North East bid was one, so we may get the entire funding.

A NEFRAN  delegation travelled to Defra in April to get further details, but these were not really forthcoming and may not be until August. I can provide a synopsis of the bid on demand.

However, the short term good news is that the North East will now be a target area for the next round of Farm & Forestry Investment Scheme funding. In addition, a bid is being made for an RDPE small business grant scheme covering the RGN area.

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