Rural businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are set to benefit from a new round of government funding to create new jobs, boost tourism, and unlock growth in rural areas.

The government’s Growth Programme, which opens for expressions of interest on Monday, November 4, provides grants for rural start-ups and businesses to purchase state-of-art equipment and machinery to grow their business or open up opportunities for tourism.

The government has allocated a minimum of £35m to spend on grants for rural businesses, with up to £5m set aside to power the rural economies of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Under previous funding rounds of the Growth programme, rural businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have been able to make major investments in technology and equipment, boosting turnover and creating new jobs for the area.

In Camborne, one dairy farming business used a grant of £83,812 to establish a new milk processing business, focused on producing and promoting a range of free range dairy products, including Cornish Clotted cream and natural yoghurts.

The grant contributed towards a new building and state-of-the-art dairy processing equipment, allowing the company to produce 12 new dairy products, while creating two full time jobs and ensuring a long-term income stream.

Farming Minister George Eustice said: “Through our Growth Programme we’ve set aside funds for rural businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to grow their businesses and create jobs for the local community.

“Existing enterprises in tourism, food processing and hospitality could all be eligible for a grant, but the programme also offers the opportunity for farm businesses to consider branching out too.

“As a popular destination for holidaymakers, we want to ensure the region’s local businesses and start-ups can capitalise on these opportunities and unlock their full potential.”

For this funding round of the Growth programme, the threshold for minimum grants has come down from £35,000 to £20,000 meaning that more small or micro-businesses can be eligible for a grant for their projects. If there are many high-quality applications for this funding round, the overall budget could increase to up to £50m to fund worthy projects.

Paul Caldwell, Chief Executive of the Rural Payments Agency said: “The Growth programme provides funding to the 98% of the rural economy in England that isn’t directly engaged in farming. From heritage railways to creameries and vineyards, small and micro-businesses have benefitted from the investment available under the Growth programme in recent years.

The RDPE Growth Programme handbook is available on GOV.UK and contains information on which projects are deemed eligible for a grant and how to apply.

Interested parties need to send an Expression of Interest form to the Rural Payments Agency, outlining how they meet the criteria for the scheme – from creating new jobs, increasing business turnover, and improving productivity.

If the Rural Payments Agency considers the project to be eligible, the applicant will then be invited to submit a full application. The deadline for all Expressions of Interest is Sunday 16 February 2020.

For more information on how to apply to the Growth programme, go to: