Image demonstrating Rural grant scheme set for extension

Rural grant scheme set for extension

Councillors are set to approve extra funding which will enable a successful rural grant scheme to be extended.

The Council’s Cabinet is being recommended to agree an additional £1million of Local Growth Fund (LGF) grant from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP), which will enable the Rural Growth Network (RGN) programme to be extended from March 2020 to April 2021.

The RGN provides capital grant support to businesses and other public and private organisations throughout the Rural NE LEP area- to help to grow the rural economy, create employment and develop workspace for small and micro-enterprises through the Strategic Economic Infrastructure Fund

The County Council is the accountable body for the programme while Advance Northumberland delivers the scheme, which has been operational since 2015 and was due to end by March 2020.

The programme has secured total funding of more than £31million since it was set-up, is due to exceed its contracted target of 321 new jobs and has provided grants to 42 organisations to date

This summer the NELEP Board approved the council’s application for a further £1m funding to provide capital grant support for projects and extend the programme to April 2021.

Grants will be available to applicants for investment in key strategic tourism assets or the creation of multiple units which could accommodate a number of businesses – such as enterprise hubs.

Councillor Richard Wearmouth, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and chair of Advance Northumberland, said: “The RGN programme has been a great success in our county, creating hundreds of jobs and stimulating a high level of business growth in Northumberland.

“Extra funding would allow this very successful scheme to be extended for another year.”
View all news