A total of £1.5m food and drink funds are still available to all businesses in the area, but expressions of interest must be made by midnight on 31 May 2018.

The local pot of £3.9m business growth funds has been available since January 2017. Whilst there have been many business development and tourism proposals, the SWLEP is keen to ensure that food and drink businesses also seize the opportunity for funding from the Rural Growth programme before it closes at the end of May 2018.

Grants are aimed at small and medium sized businesses for substantial projects. Grants can start as low as £35,000 and go up to £1m awards.

Investment should be linked to establishing new lines, products and processes into the business. Grants awards will be prioritised to businesses exporting goods, investments that improve productivity, or grow the business, perhaps due to increased domestic demand.

The rural growth handbook explains the rules in more detail, but interestingly any food and drink business can apply regardless of where they are located, you do not have to be located in a rural area. You can also speak to the Rural Payments Agency about grants on 03000 201 301

If your food or drink business has plans to grow, but needs help to invest, please get in contact with julian.head@swlep.co.uk or alison.morgan@wiltshire.gov.uk to discuss your expression of interest.

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