Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership has announced that it has now approved nearly £400,000 worth of applications following the second round of bidding of a grant scheme for small rural businesses.
The £500,000 scheme, which is jointly funded by the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the European Union via the Rural Development Programme for England, is part of the Warwickshire Rural Growth Network. It aims to stimulate small businesses in rural areas of the county, giving them financial help and access to expert advice.
Applications have been particularly sought from micro businesses operating in the manufacturing, digital media and low carbon sectors. Applications from women-led businesses have also been encouraged.
So far, 13 small rural businesses are set to receive grant funding. These include:
Angstrom Engineering of Alcester
IT specialists OCM Communications of Shipston-on-Stour
Manufacturer of beauty appliances and natural skin care products Sparcana of Alderminister
Online petfood supplier Petshopbowl of Hatton Rock, near Stratford
Digital company Greenwood and Dodsworth of North Warwickshire
Manufacturer, Newfield Fine Homes of Southam
Alpaca yarn manufacturers, Toft Alpacap Shop of Dunchurch
Naturally Good Foods, a food business based in Bretford
Lontra, an engineering company based in Napton.
It is estimated that the 13 projects which have been approved to-date will create over 50 jobs and safeguard a further 65 as well as lever in over £700,000 of private sector investment.
Grants from £10,000 to £100,000 are available for eligible projects and applicants are supported by Warwickshire’s Rural Growth Network Team and the University of Warwick Science Park’s Business Support team.
The micro-enterprise grants are part of a wider package of access to finance activities overseen by the Local Enterprise Partnership including Growing Places and the Regional Growth Fund.
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council and CWLEP board director, said: “CWLEP’s strategy is to stimulate the rural economy and the Rural Growth Network grant funding is helping to achieve this.
“The grant scheme is part of a wider package of support including specialist advice, one-to-one mentoring, coaching, loans and property. With funding still available via the Rural Growth Network and a range of other local enterprise partnership programmes, we would encourage any rural business to contact us to find out how we can help.”
Martin Yardley, chief executive of the LEP, said: “There is a wealth of talented entrepreneurs running rural businesses across the area and these grants will give companies a helping hand to grow even further.
“The LEP is committed to driving the economy forward and the level of funding committed from the Rural Growth Network will be a key factor in boosting SMEs in Warwickshire and boosts our reputation as being a region which is open for business.”
Warwickshire County Council is leading the Rural Growth Network on behalf of the Local Enterprise Partnership.
For more information about the Rural Growth Network visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/ruralgrowthnetwork or call 01926 412709.