UK Environment Secretary announces £120 million for rural communities
Rural and farm businesses will soon be able to apply for the next round of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) Growth Programme, which will help new businesses get off the ground and support existing companies to grow, develop new products and access new export markets.
Funding has already benefited dozens of businesses across England, including the Biddenden fruit handling company in Kent, which received £70,000 to install new equipment – leading to two new products and three new jobs – and Carvannel Free Range Dairy Ltd in Cornwall, which received over £80,000 to diversify their business and develop a new milk processing factory.
The £120 million fund will sit alongside recently announced funding for other RDPE projects, including woodland creation and a flood action facilitation fund.
Overall the RDPE will help protect 2.5 million hectares of farmed land, create 6,750 rural jobs and contribute to planting of 11 million trees. ■