Posted: Tue 15th Mar 2016

Rural Funds Available In Caerphilly And Blaenau Gwent /
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Mar 15th, 2016

Community groups, small and medium size businesses, agricultural businesses and food and drink producers in rural areas of Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent now have the opportunity to access funding thanks to grants from the Welsh Government and the European Union’s European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020 (RDP) is a 7 year programme to support activities that will have a direct benefit on the communities that live and work in our rural areas. The support for the RDP programme is available in two ways, either as direct grant fund support from the Welsh Government or as support from the Local Action Group (Cwm a Mynydd) that oversees a funded programme within Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Cwm a Mynydd Local Action Group has a team of development officers available to offer guidance and support for the rural communities to access these funds and to help with the fund application process. A series of networks will also give support by bringing together like minded individuals in order to share best practice and advice. The network themes are: Food, Drink and Hospitality, Agriculture, Creatives, Heritage and Working Women. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Below are the grant schemes that are currently available from the Welsh Government. All these schemes are initially applied for using an expression of interest form (EOI) that is submitted directly to the Welsh Government: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Food Business Investment Scheme – Food Business Investment Scheme (FBIS) is designed to help primary producers of agricultural products and businesses that do first and/or second stage processing activities in Wales. The scheme can provide capital investment and other support to projects where at least 90% eligible agricultural products are processed. – Closing date for submission of EOI is 25th April 2016. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Rural Community Development Fund – The grants will provide investment funding for a wide range of activities to help meet local needs and strengthen communities so that they can grow and thrive including community development plans, renewable energy, access to broadband and digital inclusion, investments in recreational, tourist infrastructure and activities to improve health and quality of life. – Closing date for submission of EOI is 30th June 2016. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Sustainable Management Scheme – The Sustainable Management Scheme will provide financial support for a range of activities that will improve the management of our natural resources and in doing so contribute to the well-being of our rural communities. The scheme offers the grants to collaborative groups to: improve the natural resources, action to reduce greenhouse gasses, improve the resilience to the impacts of climate change. – Closing date for submission of EOI is 7th May 2016. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Sustainable Production Grant Scheme – this scheme is a capital grant support package aimed at farmers in Wales. The scheme is designed to help farmers improve the economic and environmental performance of their agricultural holding in line with the Welsh Government’s and agriculture industry in Wales’ vision for more sustainable, profitable and resilient farm businesses, this support relates to animal health and welfare, crop storage, production housing and handling, renewable energy and soil and crop management. Closing date for submission of EOI is 25th April 2016. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Timber Business Investment Scheme – The Timber Business Investment Scheme provides funding for capital investments that add value to forests by enabling woodland management activities, timber harvesting and/or timber processing.The scheme is open to private forest owners, local authorities, certain other public sector forest owners and small/medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and community organisations or forestry contractors.- Closing date for submission of EOI is 23rd May 2016. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Co-operation and Supply Chain Development – The Co-operation and Supply Chain Development Scheme (C&SCDS) is designed to help make new things happen. It will provide support for a broad range of matters and for all aspects of a project, from the initial stages through to delivery and into dissemination and evaluation. The scheme cannot support joint activities which are already taking place but can support an existing group in undertaking a new joint project, these can include: small businesses working together to share facilities etc., short supply chain and local market promotion. – Closing date for submission of EOI is 9th May 2016. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

For more information on these grants please visit the Welsh Government website: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Welsh Government Farming Connect programme is being delivered by Menter a Busness and has a range of funding opportunities that will provide knowledge transfer, innovation support and advisory services for farmers and foresters throughout Wales. For more information on all that Farming connect can offer please contact Deian Thomas 029 2046 7403 / 07772 694952. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Councillor Ken James, Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning and Sustainable Development and Chair of Cwm a Mynydd Local Action Group said, “The availability of these grant schemes means that more money can be accessed by businesses and communities in the rural areas of both Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent, the added economic benefit along with the opportunity to have businesses grow and community facilities enhanced and developed will be warmly welcomed.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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