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New Forest District Council: Council invites New Forest businesses to bid for grants in new £80,000 growth fund

New Forest District Council: Council invites New Forest businesses to bid for grants in new £80,000 growth fund

New Forest District Council invites rural, small and medium sized businesses to apply for grants from a new £80,000 grant fund.  The fund aims to support businesses with capital investment for projects which enable business growth and expansion.

Bids must be between £2,500 and £50,000 and will need to demonstrate how they create or safeguard jobs to be eligible. Projects must also demonstrate a benefit to the New Forest’s rural economy including through development of local supply chains, creation of new products or services and an investment in skills. All applications are required to be match funded with 50% private investment whether through the company’s own resources, investors or borrowing.  

The programme is funded from the wider Solent Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Growth Deal, a multi-million pound fund which exists to support businesses in improving productivity and reaching new markets.

New Forest District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Councillor Michael Harris, said “Our rural businesses are a vital element of our local community; this new grant fund will provide critical funding to rural businesses who despite the challenging conditions of recent months, are looking to grow their business and provide a boost for our local economy. I would take this opportunity to thank Solent Local Enterprise Partnership for their continuing and greatly valued support for the New Forest business community”

Brian Johnson, Chair for Solent LEP and SME champion said:  “With businesses in the Solent facing unprecedented uncertainty, we want to offer as much support as possible to ensure that they recover to be as strong, if not stronger than they were before.  Last year’s New Forest Brilliance in Business Awards demonstrated that there are so many businesses to celebrate here in the New Forest, and it is vital that this area continues to thrive, diversify and grow.”

Businesses can get more information and apply at www.newforest.gov.uk/ruralgrantfund

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