£4.3m boost for tourism and agriculture in Lakes

Business support funding of £4.3m is being made available for the tourism, agriculture and food production industries in Cumbria.

As part of the allocation of remaining EU funding streams secured via the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, three new programme rounds have been launched under the European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
A £1.3m investment is available to support the development of tourism infrastructure throughout rural Cumbria.  The aim is to support projects that will encourage more tourists to visit Cumbria, stay longer and spend more money in rural areas.

Funding of £1.5m is to assist rural business development with grants to enable farm diversification or business innovation and growth.  Grant funding can help pay for constructing or improving buildings and/or buying new equipment and machinery.

The remaining £1.5m is being applied to help food processing businesses to develop and extend supply chains, enabling them to export their goods as well as achieving business growth.  It is aimed at food and drink businesses which process agricultural and horticultural products.

These latest EAFRD funding rounds are open for a 12-month period.

Graham Haywood, director of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership said: “This is another valuable tranche of EU investment rounds focusing on growing a diverse and vibrant rural economy within the county.

“The funding is aligned with the county’s strategic economic plan, with a keen focus on innovation, opportunities to diversify, and helping rural businesses grow and create more jobs.

“The county’s businesses still have access to significant EU funding resources to help them achieve growth.  Applicants can be assured that contracts in place will be fully funded, even if their projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU.”