By MICHAEL LANE
Rural food producers in England looking to expand their businesses have until the end of April to apply for up to £1 million in funding from a new £60 million Defra grant scheme.
The Rural Economy Grant Scheme (REGS) will consider applications from businesses looking to boost production capacity or develop new products by investing in new equipment or building new premises.
Those looking to increase export sales or develop shared distribution operations will also be eligible to apply to the REGS – part of a £100 million investment in the Rural Development Programme for England
Under the scheme, Defra will provide up to 40% of funding for a project and the business must provide the remaining 60%. The maximum grant is £1m, the minimum £25,000.
Outline applications must be made by April 30 after which firms will be selected for a second detailed application stage.
Among the other business types who can apply are farmers, forestry contractors and local authorities.
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