Leeds City Region LEP have grant funding available for businesses based in rural parts of the City Region (including York) to support projects that will encourage more tourists to visit, stay longer and spend more money in rural areas. We can quickly help you to identify if your business is located in a rural area and within the Leeds City Region. The majority of the area within the outer ring road is classed as urban for the purposes of this grant and is therefore ineligible, not all areas though so please ask us to confirm.
The grants will help fund the costs of capital expenditure on tourism infrastructure. The minimum grant is usually £35,000 and grants will fund no more than 40% of your project costs. The remaining 60% has to be raised from private sources e.g. savings, bank loan etc. You cannot use other public sector grants to contribute towards your share.
Projects are more likely to be successful if they achieve at least 2 of the following:
- Create at least 1 full time equivalent skilled job for every £30,000 of grant funding.
- Attract tourists outside the usual period of May to October.
- Create or develop tourist attractions and infrastructure to increase the range of attractions available locally, encouraging tourists to stay longer and increase their spend.
- Provide benefits to the wider tourism economy in the rural area e.g. an improved visitor attraction may result in increased spend in local accommodation providers.
Businesses interested in applying first need to complete an Expression of Interest form. Full guidance notes and the form are available here. You can apply immediately but the final deadline for receipt of Expression of Interest forms is 31 January 2018. Successful businesses will be invited to submit a full application. Top tips from the Rural Payments Agency on improving your chances of success are:
- The main aim of the programme is to create jobs and growth in the rural economy, use the form to explain how your project will do this.
- Explain clearly what the project does and how it will benefit the economy.
- It’s hard for the Rural Payments Agency to approve an application when they don’t understand your project, keep it simple.
- Don’t ask for the full amount if you don’t need it, just because you can apply for 40% doesn’t mean you should.
- Demonstrate what the grant means to the success of your project, bearing in mind public money has to be carefully invested so it has to be good value for money.
- Do your research, show that there is a real demand for what you do.
Please contact Simon Middleton at Make It York for further information on 01904 551829 or firstname.lastname@example.org