The end of 2011 has seen some new and exciting grant opportunities.
DEFRA launched their Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme, targeting nutrient management, energy, water, animal welfare and forestry.
Useful grants may be available for, say, covering slurry stores, water harvesting, or anyone wishing to set up or expand a wood-fuel enterprise. Marches LEP is re-launching the redundant building grant scheme. Grants of up to £50,000 (30% of costs) are available with a heavy weighting towards job creation. DEFRA's Rural Economy Growth Review is promising yet more support in the spring, targeting rural businesses, tourism, food and drink, and all things green. Details are sketchy, but 40% grants of up to £160,000 are promised.
The grants world is changing fast but for all schemes funds are limited, so the message is do not dally or you will miss it!
For more information visit the Rural Grants and Funding section of the DEFRA website http://www.defra.gov.uk/rural/rdpe/