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Grants For Rural Businesses

24th January 2024 @ 6:06am – by Cheshire East
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Rural businesses to benefit from government grants

Cheshire East Council has been successful in securing funding to support its local rural economy.

The schemes being supported are the Rural Business Capital Grant scheme and the Cheshire East Visitor Economy Grant, which are funded by the government's UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The Rural Business Capital Grant Scheme offers grants from £1,000 to £10,000 and can be used for small scale investment in micro and small enterprises in rural areas of the borough.

Eligible uses for the grant include, but are not limited to:

* The creation, improvement and expansion of rural leisure, hospitality, and tourism businesses;

* Purchase of equipment for food processing;

* Modernising existing equipment for increased energy efficiency or increased productivity through automation; and

* Funding for resilience infrastructure and nature-based solutions that protect local businesses.

The Cheshire East Visitor Economy Grant scheme also offers grants from £1,000 up to a maximum of £10,000 per eligible business for the development and promotion of the visitor economy. The fund is intended to be used to enhance Cheshire East's rural visitor economy and rural leisure opportunities. Eligible uses for the grant include but are not limited to:

* Developing local attractions;

* Trails and visitor infrastructure;

* Developing visitor experiences; and

* Tours and tourism products more generally

The applications process is straightforward via an online application form, and full details of both schemes can be found by visiting the council's website at: Support Packages and Services (

The eligibility criteria for both schemes is the same, and is as follows:

* Only businesses and organisations trading from a property based in the Cheshire East Council rural classification can apply for a grant;

* Expenditure that occurs after the 1 April 2023 will be eligible; and

* Businesses must hold a business bank account.

Councillor Mark Goldsmith, chair of Cheshire East Council's economy and growth committee, said: "The funding for these two schemes is a welcome benefit to our rural economy, which is of course vital to our borough.

"We are well positioned to support any of our local businesses that could benefit from either of these schemes and I would urge anyone that feels that they may benefit from UKSPF funding to check through the criteria and then contact the council. We will be very happy to help."

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