£4.6m boost for rural businesses

Rural businesses in Lancashire will benefit from £4.6m to support employment and growth.

Lancashire County CouncilThe funding will be available for eligible rural businesses located across Lancashire and in neighbouring parts of Greater Manchester.

It will help farmers who are seeking to invest in new technologies, diversify or make onsite improvements. Funding will also be available for new or existing small or micro enterprises looking to create job opportunities.

This programme will be managed and delivered by Lancashire County Council. The programme is expected to be launched in June 2015.

Projects funded in the 2009-2013 Rural Programme include Fiddlers Lancashire Crisps which benefitted from funding to create a manufacturing facility at their family farm. The programme also provided funding to the Odd Chair Company who had outgrown their site and needed additional space to expand their business.

County councillor Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for local rural businesses who are looking to develop and grow. The funding will be available to businesses, farms and organisations who want to invest and create new jobs. It's excellent news for rural areas of Lancashire."

The funding will be given out through local bodies, known as Local Action Groups made up of representatives from the public, private and voluntary sectors who have spent the last year identifying local priority areas for funding. The programme will initially focus on farming and enterprise, and later this year will look to support forestry, tourism, culture & heritage, and community projects.