The Business Development, Food Processing and Rural Tourism Infrastructure grants are now open to new applications. You must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) form before midnight on 16 February 2020.

You could be eligible for a Growth Programme grant if your business is carrying out a project to create jobs or bring more money into the rural economy.
There are 3 types of grant:

• Business development
• Food processing
• Rural tourism infrastructure

The grants are funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), which is part of the European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF).

Read the handbook(s)

The handbooks attached to this page below will tell you more about each type of grant, including:

• who can apply
• how and when to apply
• which specific activities you can claim for (and which you can’t)
• what grants are available in your area

Interested in the Growth Programme?
If you’re interested in applying for a Growth Programme grant, why not fill in the form below and Thomas Studio will help you to find out more about the grants and how to apply.

How to apply
The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) will assess all expressions of interest. RPA will look for projects that meet the national and local priorities for funding, and will decide which meet the criteria the best. This means grants are not awarded automatically to an applicant.
There is a 2-part application process (starting with submitting an ‘expression of interest’) to tell RPA about the work you’re doing and how the grant could help you with it.
If RPA assesses that your expression of interest is suitable, they will invite you to submit a full application.

Top tips for applicants
Before you start an application, here are some important reminders…
Jobs + growth + rural
Every successful application starts with a good idea and a clear plan for how to make that idea a reality. Thomas Studio can help you with that.

The whole aim of the RDPE Growth Programme is to create jobs and growth in the rural economy. Your application will need to show your project will help do this. Again Thomas Studio can help you do that.

Sell your idea
Explain really clearly what your project does and how it will benefit the economy.

Show what the funding will mean to the success of your project. If you can show that your project is good value for money, and that you’re planning to use the grant money to improve your project, you’re more likely to get the grant.

Do the market research
You have to show that there is real demand for what you want to do, or you’re unlikely to get a grant.

Be prepared
You will need to keep detailed records about your project, because you’ll have to provide proof (including detailed quotes) of how much the various elements of your project will cost. At Thomas Studio we can help you with advice whether planning permission will be required, and how to cost your project and what consultants may be necessary to ensure your project is successful.

Here are the links you need…

Fill in details below to download the Rural Business Grant Funding Handbook


Fill in details below to download Rural Tourism Grand Funding Handbook

Remember if your Expression of Interest application is successful you will be invited through to the next round and your project will be assessed for grant funding.
The initial aim is to get your EOi in before the 16th of February 2020… so act fast.