Cotswold sheepA new £1.5 million capital grant to grow businesses and create jobs within the tourism sector in rural Gloucestershire has been launched.

Organisations are being invited to submit expressions of interest to the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) Growth Programme. The grant is applicable for land-owners, farmers, groups representing rural communities, charities and public bodies. The overarching aim of the fund is to encourage visitors to spend more time and money in the rural parts of theGFirst Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area.

To promote the launch, a free workshop is being held, which will include a step by step guide to applying for funding, and delivering a project under both the Growth Programme and Leader Programme.

The event is organised by GFirst LEP, who worked with the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) to secure the financial allocation through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) – part of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).

The workshop will take place at The Growth Hub at the University of Gloucestershire Oxstalls Campus, between 09:30 – 14:30 BST on Wednesday, 5th April.

The workshop will be structured through a series of presentations, case studies, networking and group surgeries covering the process for developing a robust funding application and successful project delivery. The main presentation will be delivered by Defra/RPA covering the application process including priorities for the Call; eligibility; measures; grant levels; timescale and top tips for success and pitfalls to avoid. A comprehensive applicant handbook has been published to accompany the Call.

This workshop will be just the beginning of a process to offer on-going support to potential applicants to maximise good quality applications and successful delivery of economic and social outputs.

Supporting presentations will include an overview of the Gloucestershire European Structural Fund; the importance of tourism to Gloucestershire; overview of LEADER, and a series of case studies.

To book a place on the workshop, visit http://bit.ly/eafrdgfirstlep.

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