£35 million has been made available to boost productivity and create local jobs in rural areas. Business can apply under three themes – Business Development, Tourism Infrastructure and Food Processing. The maximum grant under the Business Development and Tourism themes will be limited to €200,000 (around £175,000), whilst the maximum grant under the Food Processing theme will be limited to £750,000. The fund will be open for applications until 16th February 2020 and all the details can be found on the gov.uk website.

The call is part of the EU Rural Growth Programme (Rural Development Programme for England). The funding complements the delivery of the existing European Structural and Investment Fund.

The minimum grant an applicant can request is £20,000. The intervention rate varies depending on the type of action. The application process has two stages - expression of interest and full application. Applicants from Greater Manchester would also have to demonstrate that their proposition is aligned with Greater Manchester's rural priorities.

This is a national call and all type of businesses located in rural areas, regardless of their size, can apply. By definition, rural land accounts for approximately 25% of Greater Manchester’s landmass. To check if your business is within a rural area please visit DEFRA interactive website where you will be able to check postcode eligibility. A Map of rural GM can also be found here