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Businesses in Chatteris, Gorefield, Guyhirn, Manea, March and Wisbech St Mary got a £5k grant from Rural England Prosperity Fund

Sixteen Fenland businesses were awarded £5,000 each after successfully applying for a Rural England Prosperity Fund grant.

Business expansion, diversification and financial and environmental sustainability projects were among those supported in the first round of grant awards from the Fenland fund.

Many of the projects supported by grants are expected to lead to new jobs. According to estimates in the grant bids, the total number of new jobs could be as high as 28.

Snooker player Joe Perry was one of the recipients
Snooker player Joe Perry was one of the recipients

Businesses from a Government-specified area encapsulating the majority of Fenland could apply for up to £5,000 under the programme, which will soon close for second-round bids of up to £10k each.

Businesses that won support were:

Guy Manchett Servicing, Chatteris, £5,000

Joe Perry’s Snooker & Pool Palace, Chatteris, £5,000

So Dental, Chatteris, £5,000

J B Turner Farm & Country Store, Gorefield, £5,000

Bankside Nursery, Guyhirn, £5,000

Nationwide Training & Safety Services, Guyhirn, £5,000

Westfield Farms (Manea), March, £5,000

A4 Plus Limited, March, £5,000

BloKarts East Anglia, March, £5,000

Fox Narrowboats Ltd, March, £5,000

G & CA Lombardo, March, £5,000.

Goddens Home Interiors, March, £5,000

March Podiatry Practice, March, £5,000

Skylark Garden Centre, March, £5,000

Rai & Rai Builders, kitchen and bathroom installation, Whittlesey, £5,000

The Secret Garden Touring Park, Wisbech St Mary, £5,000

Businesses have until Saturday, April 6, to apply for a grant of up to £10k in the second round of the Fenland Rural England Prosperity Fund at www.fenlandforbusiness.co.uk/REPF

That is also the closing date for bids of up to £10,000 from the Fenland Start-up business support programme – for businesses throughout Fenland that have been trading less than a year: www.fenlandforbusiness.co.uk/article/17705/Fenland-Start-Up-Business-Support-Programme

And bids of up to £25,000 from the Investment in Business Programme: www.fenlandforbusiness.co.uk/article/17706/Investment-in-Business-grants

The ‘Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF)’ grants can support up to half the cost of capital projects and purchases - that is investments into assets, like tools, equipment, computers and machinery.

The fund can support any business (including farming businesses) in the Central Government defined Fenland Rural England Prosperity Fund area, which includes most of Fenland, but excludes Wisbech, Elm and Friday Bridge.

It aims to improve productivity and strengthen the economy in areas Government has identified as being rural and therefore, it says, facing potential challenges of lower productivity rates, poorer connectivity and poorer access to key services. It created the fund to support rural communities and new and existing rural businesses to develop new products and facilities that will be of wider benefit to the local economy. This includes farm businesses looking to diversify income streams.

Fenland Start-up business support programme and the Investment in Business Programme can support businesses in Wisbech, Elm and Friday Bridge as well as the rest of Fenland.

The Rural England Prosperity Fund is delivered by Fenland District Council’s economic growth team Fenland for Business thanks to funding awarded to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority by the Government’s Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). It’s part of the Government’s wider Levelling Up programme and linked to other opportunities available via the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The Start-up Business Awards Programme and Investment in Business programme grants are also being delivered by Fenland for Business. They’re funded by the UK Government’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) Shared Prosperity Fund thanks to a successful bid by Fenland District Council in partnership with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.

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