Taken from the RDPE Network Website © Copyright DEFRA
Rural Economy Grant (REG)
The Rural Economy Grant (REG) provides grants to enable a significant ‘game-changing’, transformational performance in farm, forestry, tourism, agri-food businesses and micro businesses in rural areas in England.
The £60 million REG has been established in response to the findings of Defra’s Rural Economy Growth Review (launched in November 2011), which through consultation and an in-depth analysis of a broad range of research, identified large grants (of £25,000 up to circa £1 million) are needed in key business sectors to unlock significant rural economic growth potential.
Please note that support for farming, forestry, tourism, and agri-food businesses (large or small) is available in any rural location (as defined in the Applicant Handbook and appendices below), but support for micro-businesses in other sectors is limited to Rural Growth Network areas only. Project applications will need to demonstrate that as a result of a grant their business will achieve a significant step change in performance (such as job creation, increased turnover, access to new markets etc).
The REG application process is competitive and those projects offering the greatest return on grant investment will be more likely to be successful.
How to Apply
The application process includes two stages:
Stage 1 Outline Application ROUND 1 TO BE SUBMITTED BY 5.00 pm on the 30 April 2012
This initial stage allows you to provide us with an outline of your project, detailing how you anticipate it will fit with the overall aims of the appropriate theme (farm competiveness, agri-food, tourism, forestry, and micro-enterprise), the need and demand for the investment, and benefits of your project.
Please submit your outline application – (both e-mailed electronic copy and hardcopy) by no later than 5.00pm on the 30th April 2012.
To help you complete your application, we strongly advise you read the following handbook guidance and relevant theme appendix for your project;
- REG Applicant Handbook
- Farm Competiveness – Nutrient Management Appendix
- Farm Competitiveness – Animal Health and Welfare Appendix
- Farm Competitiveness – Water Resource Management Appendix
- Tourism Appendix
- Forestry Appendix
- Agri-Food Technical Appendix
- Rural Growth Network Micro Enterprise Appendix – to be added when Rural Growth Network areas announced in March 2012.
Following submission, your application will be primarily assessed/ scored against the following key criteria:
- Eligibility and capability of applicant;
- Fit with theme priorities (please see section 7 of the Applicant Handbook) and eligibility of activity;
- Value for money (including an assessment of need/ demand); and
- Deliverability (in terms of ability to raise required match finance, implement within the RDPE programme period, and comply with state aid).
Following this assessment a decision will be made as to whether your project may proceed to the Full application stage. We aim to notify all applicants of the outcome of their outline application within 8 weeks of the end of the application round.
Failure to submit all of the required information (electronic and hardcopy) with your project application by 5pm on the 30th April 2012 will result in your outline application being rejected.
If you are thinking about submitting an Outline application or have any questions about REG we strongly advise you to contact your local RDPE Delivery Team to discuss your project ideas.
Stage 2 Full Application
If your Outline application is endorsed, you will be invited to submit a Full application. The Full application is a more in-depth stage – requiring the submission of a full business case / business plan and supporting evidence to demonstrate the need and demand, impact, value for money and deliverability of your project and how it will make a game changing difference to your business and local economy. You will also need to provide three like-for-like quotations for all project costs.
Prior to submitting your Full application you will need to receive any relevant, required statutory approvals in order for your project to progress, such as planning permission.
If you are invited to proceed to Full Application you will be asked to identify a target date for submission of your Full Application and all associated supporting evidence. Failure to meet your target Full application submission date may result in your outline endorsement being withdrawn.
Who Can Apply?
The following businesses across England are eligible to apply (please see section 7 of the Applicant Handbook for further details):
- Rural based enterprises
- Forestry contractors
- Woodland owners
- Horticultural businesses
- Rural Growth Networks
- Not for Profit/ Companies Limited by Guarantee
Please remember that the selection process for REG is competitive and applications will be appraised against one another. This means that there is no guarantee of success and not all projects which are eligible will necessarily be awarded a grant.