The response to the Rural Economy Grant scheme has been very positive with a high number of expressions of interest from rural businesses. There are now a large number of potential projects in the pipeline from the many business who have contacted us and as a result we will no longer carry out any new initial assessments with businesses who are considering an application. Please do not call for an initial assessment as we will not be able to carry this out. There is information on funding and investment opportunities which is regularly updated and is available at
The scheme must commit all of available funds to projects by 31st March 2014 and those projects must finish their projects by 31 October 2014.
The final decision making panel will meet again in January, February and March and these panels are likely to be highly competitive and over-subscribed in terms of grant requests. We wish to prevent more businesses coming into the scheme and wasting time and effort on new applications when there is unlikely to be enough funding to meet demand.
Therefore, we are also setting a final deadline for submission of applications to the scheme. This will be midnight on Sunday 13th January 2014.
Any applications submitted to the scheme coordinator prior to the deadline from a business, but which have not been referred to project development support provided by RDS will be referred to RDS for a review that checks that the proposal is capable of being funded under the scheme rules. If a proposal is not capable of being funded it will be rejected on the basis that there will not be enough time to rectify the proposal. If the application is eligible, but there is some scope for improvement of its chances at the panel, the applicant will be referred to RDS for support to strengthen the proposal.
Any applications submitted to the scheme coordinator after this date will not be considered for funding under the scheme.
Strategic Economic Programmes Manager
Economy & Regeneration