Rural businesses and organisations heard from experts on how to access growth finance and other help at a conference, hosted by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and D2N2 Growth Hub.
The second ‘D2N2 Rural Means Business Conference’ of 2017 was held at Belper Town Football Club, Derbyshire, in Belper.
Host D2N2 is the private sector-led Partnership which promotes economic and jobs growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. Its D2N2 Growth Hub works with and provides free and heavily subsidised support for business start-ups, and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), around accessing finance, growth planning, marketing, pursuing new markets and other activities.
More than 40 delegates at yesterday’s (July 18) free event heard about £3million in European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) funding available via D2N2 – money which is part of the LEP’s wider € 250million European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) allocation – to help with business growth.
Organisations with potential projects particularly linked to food processing, tourism infrastructure and business development can apply for funding now. Details are available online at www.gov.uk/government/publications/rdpe-growth-programme.
Advice on other sources of funding for rural businesses, including the regional LEADER programmes, was also covered at the Conference.
Speakers included Robert Mayo, Development Director at the Welbeck Estate, North Nottinghamshire; D2N2 Growth Hub Manager Chris Pook; and representatives from the Rural Payments Agency, an executive agency sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), which supports the farming and food sectors.
The first D2N2 Rural Means Business Conference of 2017 was held in February at Nottingham Trent University’s Brackenhurst Campus.
Lindsay Allen, D2N2 Senior Programme Manager (Sector Development), said: “Rural businesses and enterprises are a vital part of the LEP area economy, but tend to have less access to the infrastructure and business development benefits enjoyed by their urban counterparts.
“Our ‘Rural Means Business Conferences’ and other work aims to raise rural organisations’ awareness of the targeted funding available to them, via D2N2 and its partners, to help their local economy grow and also the wider region’s.”
More information on how D2N2 is using its EU funding to grow the economy and jobs in its area is available at web link www.d2n2lep.org/EUFunding.