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10 July 2014 12:01:20 |

Growth deal announcement 'must benefit rural economy', says CLA


Government allocations from the national growth pot 'must benefit all sections of the economy', the Country Land and Business Association have said.
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said more than 2,500 rural businesses are set to receive a share of £19 million of government funding.
This funding has been specifically designed to boost the competitiveness of rural farming and forestry businesses and it is believed that this extra funding will support around 5000 jobs across England.
CLA President Henry Robinson said: “It is crucial that significant funding is targeted towards rural areas so the countryside can enjoy the support and economic growth experienced elsewhere – all sections of the economy must benefit from these allocations.
“There will be many smaller rural businesses waiting for this funding so they can establish, grow and increase their competiveness. They should not be disadvantaged by having to compete with larger urban-centric businesses for what will always be a restricted funding pot.
“LEPs can act as a major dynamic for rural economic growth but this will only happen if they work closely with rural businesses and stakeholders who have the necessary experience to help them focus this money on areas and sectors where it is most needed and where the gain in economic delivery will be most beneficial.”
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said:
Small businesses are the cornerstone of the rural economy, supporting local jobs, people and entire communities. That’s why the government is awarding £19 million to over 2,500 small farming and forestry businesses to enable them to thrive as part of our long-term economic plan.
This will help them grow and prosper and support around 5000 jobs across England.
The funding is from the targeted Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme (FFIS), part of the CAP-funded Rural Development Programme for England.
This funding, now it its third round, has provided over £34 million to help nearly 5,000 businesses, including farmers, foresters, woodland owners and horticultural businesses grow their businesses and the rural economy. Combined with £51 million of industry funding, this will support around 10,000 jobs.

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