Rural Enterprise

The Skills and Growth Company are working to ensure that promotion of rural enterprise; jobs and economic activity are prominent in all relevant areas of our client’s business operations.

We support the growth agenda of Cheshire East Council and Cheshire and Warrington LEP and deliver sub-regional working as required within the context of rural development, including the LEADER programme and rural development regional initiatives – ensuring rural priorities are fully integrated and promoted.

We already have a thriving rural economy but our rural areas have the potential to make a greater contribution to economic growth given the right conditions and we aim to facilitate, engage, and support businesses in rural areas.

Our approach is proactive. We engage directly with rural businesses, to understand barriers to growth and offer business support for your growth plans. We can support you with business planning and identifying relevant investment and grant funding opportunities for your business and facilitate the application process for such opportunities.

Rural grant funding opportunities include:

Cheshire LEADER Programme

The Cheshire East LEADER programme is a European Union programme that aims to provide capital grant funding for businesses and organisations looking to begin or expand their operations in rural areas. Everything LEADER funds must support one or more of the following themes: Increasing Farm Productivity, Micro/Small Enterprises and Farm Diversification, Rural Tourism, Rural Services, Culture and Heritage and Increasing Forestry Productivity. The programme is open for applications all year round.

For more information on the funding available, please visit the Cheshire Leader Fund website.

Countryside Productivity Scheme

Farmers, woodland owners and forestry contractors can apply for grants under the Countryside Productivity Scheme. The Countryside Productivity Scheme is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE). It’s administered by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

At present only the European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural Productivity (EIP-AGRI)Funding is open under this scheme. EIP-AGRI provides revenue grant support to projects which show innovation in linking research with farming or forestry practices to encourage new farming techniques, and supports operational groups to develop projects that improve the productivity and sustainability of the farming and forestry sectors.

To find out more about the variety of grants available, please visit the Countryside Productivity Scheme

If you’re a rural business and want to explore opportunities for growing the business then please contact the Rural Enterprise Manager, Rachel Bolton on: 07812 653610 or email:

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