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27 January 2017

£3m to create jobs and growth in Dorset rural economy

Businesses in Dorset are being invited to apply for a share of almost £3 million of European funding from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE).

The RDPE Growth Programme provides funding for projects in England which create jobs and growth in the rural economy.

There is almost £3 million available for businesses within the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership(LEP) area with grants for:

  • 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 and Investment Fund (ESIF).

The Deadline for Expression of interest is midnight 31 January 2018

For further information visit


LEPs are responsible for setting local ESIF strategies and encouraging local business to utilise the opportunities brought on by EU funding to improve their business and the local area.

Dorset LEP, in line with national policy, wrote the 2014-2020 ESIF Strategy for Dorset. This strategy supports the Strategic Economic Vision for Dorset and delivery of the Dorset Growth Deal.

The Dorset Rural Enterprise Priorities Paper endeavours to recognise the issues, opportunities and probable barriers to growth in rural Dorset, whilst appreciating the contribution made by the natural environment, or our Natural Capital, which has recently been valued at £1.5bn of gross value added per annum.

The paper seeks to identify the actions which might be undertaken by the DLEP and its partners to encourage, not only the growth of existing sectors, but also the diversity of businesses, to increase the opportunities for those who live and work in our countryside.



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