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Qualifying for the Rural Enterprise Scheme (RES)

By: Jennifer Lowe - Updated: 23 Mar 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Small Business Funding Funding Community

The Rural Enterprise Scheme (RES) which was designed to provide assistance for sustainable development projects within communities.

There is a wide range of projects covered by the scheme, but the primary aim is to help farmers adapt to the changes in the market and develop their business by investigating new opportunities.

Other types of projects would include those that have the potential to produce a commercial return, or those that will provide communities with social or environmental benefits.

It can be argued that one of the main aims of RES is to promote and encourage innovation within individual communities, and as a result of this there is no specific list of projects that would be eligible. But, this doesn't mean that just any old project can benefit from this scheme.

The list of things that the scheme will look at, although somewhat vague, includes things like, financial help towards the marketing of agricultural products,set-up costs for basic community services, such as transport schemes for those that are classed as being isolated, or the conversion of old out-buildings to create small businesses like tea shops or farm shops.

The Qualification Procedure

Now although this scheme covers a potentially large array of projects, the amount of funding available is not unlimited. This means that the grants are awarded on a selective, and regional, basis.

The eligibility process is tough and all applicants have to undergo technical analysis and are compared to other projects that are similar in design and structure to ensure that the one that will provide the most benefits to the community is selected.

It is important that you remember that this scheme is only applicable to those projects in England and also excludes those people who work in areas including Cornwall, the Scilly Isles and parts of Merseyside and South Yorkshire. This is because there are other schemes in these areas that provide funding for these types of projects.

The Application Process

Although there is no restrictions in place that determine when you should apply by, there is a limited budget so it is important that you submit your application as soon as possible.

Regional boards assess applications £15,000 in funding from the scheme can be fast-tracked.There are also separate procedures in place for those applications that are national and act as a mirror of projects based in single locations.

Show Me The Money

The RES fund doesn't limit the amount available to each project because it is actually intended to fill the gap between the true cost of the project and what you can realistically afford.However, the guidelines show that there are three bands for funding through RES.

Firstly, for those projects that have no, or a minimal amount of economic return the funding awarded will be between 50 per cent and 100 per cent. Projects like these, for example, would include those that are specifically designed as an aid to the community or local environment and don't necessarily provide a substantial amount of profit for the applicant.

Those projects where the return is the main objective, the amount of funding available is reduced to 30 per cent to 50 per cent. And finally, the projects that have the potential to return in excess of 25 per cent of the initial investment, then the funding is between 15 per cent to 30 per cent.

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Would there be a possibility of a rural enterprise grant for a Track Livery business for horses? I have had a great number of inquiries recently and I have the land and the knowledge but not the infrastructure. I have a 5 acre smallholding but would need an agricultural building for hay and tractor, trailer, storage, some hard standing and hardcore tracks and one or two more moveable shelters. My daughters pony and a few liveries are already kept like this- on tracks with little or no access to grass but outside and moving all year round to find hay containers around the track. Many horse owners do not want their horses in stables when the ground is wet but livery owners are reluctant for their fields to be trashed. Thank you for any information
Alfi - 23-Mar-18 @ 8:43 PM
We want to purchase a property where I can offer Holiday Lets (either conversion of outbuildings or self build single storey units) and Educational Workshops, Events, Weddings from a "Barn type" structure. We have been looking for a property with about 1 acre of land in a rural or semi-rural area in East Sussex, about a 10mile radius of Hastings. Most of the properties we have seen have outbuildings but no Barns! How likely would we be to get funding to convert the outbuildings into holiday lets and/or build a Barn on the land that surrounds the property.
Bhatt - 19-Mar-18 @ 2:49 PM
Crockpot - Your Question:
I have recently bought a three acre field and planted an orchard. I would like to establish a workshop on the field to process the apples into juice and cider, and also space to store the machinery necessary to maintain the orchard and field. I already take apples from friends orchards and process these at home. Are there any grants that would help me establish the workshop/store?

Our Response:
DEFRA is the best place to start looking for information. Here are two resources to try:
Stewardship grants for orchards
RDPE Growth Programme Food Processors
GrantsExpert - 12-Mar-18 @ 12:17 PM
I have recently bought a three acre field and planted an orchard. I would like to establish a workshop on the field to process the apples into juice and cider, and also space to store the machinery necessary to maintain the orchard and field. I already take apples from friends orchards and process these at home. Are there any grants that would help me establish the workshop/store?
Crockpot - 9-Mar-18 @ 10:23 AM
Deere - Your Question:
I run a small 35 acre farm in the far south west, of cornwall. I have sheep and calfs. Our income is very low.We do, grow our own haylage, hay etc.We do claim the single farm payment, but we could do with much more.So we can invest and make a full time paid job, and my farm will be more productive.I do not believe my business farm account, bank manager would help, only laugh.

Our Response:
There are still some grants available for farming/countryside stewardship/diversification etc but we can't say whether any are applicable to your situation as we don't know enough about it. Try: The goverment rural grants page or
GrantsExpert - 5-Feb-18 @ 2:41 PM
I run a small 35 acre farm in the far south west, of cornwall. I have sheep and calfs. Our income is very low. We do, grow our own haylage, hay etc. We do claim the single farm payment, but we could do with much more. So we can invest and make a full time paid job, and my farm will be more productive. I do not believe my business farm account, bank manager would help, only laugh.
Deere - 2-Feb-18 @ 11:41 PM
We own an old village pub near Alford in Linconshire which had been closed for over a year when we bought it several years ago and we have spent the last few years carrying out substantial renovations in order to reopen it as a tea room/B&B which we were able to do under permitted development. As we are now over 75% through the project are there any retrospective grants we could claim? The oldest part of the property is early 19th century but it is not listed though we are in an AONB on the edgel of the Lincolnshire Wolds. Regards Joe
Joe - 24-Jan-18 @ 11:23 PM
We are about to start conversion of 3 barns - which fall within a listed building curtilage.Planning permission was granted on the basis that as part of the conversion we must make 2 of the 3 barns holiday lets.Are there any grants available for this?
Capricorn jjd - 17-Jan-18 @ 6:07 PM
I am starting my own rural craft business teaching people the taditional craft of weaving. Students will range from private individuals to vulnerable children who have been excluded from school, teaching them new skills that they can use for leisure or as occupational therapy. This workshop will also support students from a local rural enterprise centre. The set up costs are not immense but this will now become my only income source. I would be very grateful of any information or advice regarding financial support / grants. My intention is to employ 1-2 people within the next 12 months giving students an opportunity to work / set up their own business.
Jonesy - 1-Nov-17 @ 10:19 PM
We are looking to set up a farm shopping Somerset would this grant or similar be available to start this business start up?
Ashy - 28-Apr-17 @ 1:08 PM
I'm wanting to sethe up a bee farm in rural Northumberland, it would also be educational accessable to locals and schools. I was wondering if you know of any grants avaliable? Thanks Tom
Tom - 22-Apr-17 @ 12:06 PM
We are looking to renovate an old barn on our farm in Cumbria into a holiday let. Then possibly build a swimming pool which would also be available to the locals. Are there any grants available in this areas pls?
Saw - 1-Apr-17 @ 11:06 AM
Jo - Your Question:
We live in a village just outside Stratford Upon Avon and are looking to set up a cafe and little village shop as there is currently nothing in our village for local residents. We have a number of new parents and older residents who would really benefit from this. Would we qualify to apply for this? There is already a social club where we would like to run this from so we would be taking that over and making it more accessible to everyone, and incorporating food sales and the sale of local produce. Thanks

Our Response:
You could try the rurual enterprise scheme. If you were to involve the local community and will be using an existing social club - here are some ideas to look at:
Rural Warwickshire (funding advice)
Warwickshire district grants scheme
Trusthouse charitable foundatyion
GrantsExpert - 31-Mar-17 @ 2:04 PM
We live in a village just outside Stratford Upon Avon and are looking to set up a cafe and little village shop as there is currently nothing in our village for local residents. We have a number of new parents and older residents who would really benefit from this. Would we qualify to apply for this? There is already a social club where we would like to run this from so we would be taking that over and making it more accessible to everyone, and incorporating food sales and the sale of local produce. Thanks
Jo - 30-Mar-17 @ 8:33 PM
Sophie - Your Question:
I want to start a dog grooming salon in or around Yeleverton Devon. There's a cry for the service. Would I qualify for a grant? Thank you

Our Response:
You should check your local council to see if there are any start up grants in your area...it's more likely that you might be offered a low cost loan etc.
GrantsExpert - 21-Mar-17 @ 2:27 PM
I want to start a dog grooming salon in or around Yeleverton Devon. There's a cry for the service. Would I qualify for a grant? Thank you
Sophie - 18-Mar-17 @ 9:56 PM
Rob - Your Question:
I want to inquire about the potential to get a grant to part fund a farm diversification project in a farm food takeaway business - initially pizzas. It would be based in an orchard close to the centre of the village and provide part time employment to local people. It would also act as a great social place for the community in the summer months. Thanks. Rob

Our Response:
You can try...we have no idea whether this would be considered under the farm diversity funding schemes. here are the details.
GrantsExpert - 9-Feb-17 @ 12:27 PM
I want to inquire about the potential to get a grant to part fund a farm diversification project in a farm food takeaway business - initially pizzas.It would be based in an orchard close to the centre of the village and provide part time employment to local people. It would also act as a great social place for the community in the summer months.Thanks.Rob
Rob - 7-Feb-17 @ 9:00 PM
we are a dairy farm in the Peak district, a very touristy area and are keen to tackle the 'glamping' market. Are there any appropriate grants available?
moo - 18-Jan-17 @ 7:10 PM
solo - Your Question:
I have planning permission to renovate a derelict stores /garage at the rear of my high street business into a holiday let we are in a rural village in a conservation area with lots of local interests but no such amenities I am going to find this project a difficult one to fund personally and wondered as there is a lot of expensive procedures involved initially because of the location etc whether a grant would be available for a project like this it will certainly enhance the look of the village high street which is in need at present also bringing tourists into the village will help the local business s

Our Response:
Try the Rural devekopment programme for England
GrantsExpert - 11-Jan-17 @ 11:46 AM
I have planning permission to renovate a derelict stores /garage at the rear of my high street business into a holiday let we are in a rural villagein a conservation area with lots of local interests but no such amenitiesI am going to find this project a difficult one to fund personally and wondered as there is a lot of expensive procedures involved initiallybecause of the location etcwhether a grant would be available for a project like this it will certainly enhancethe look of the village high street which is in need at presentalso bringing tourists into the village will help the localbusiness s
solo - 10-Jan-17 @ 1:54 PM
I have started a you tube channelToy Song TV , making songs for children mostly about tractors with animations. I intend to employ an assistant as filming alone is difficult. I have achieved some success but to reach a worldwide audience I need to invest money in advertising, an assistant and improved equipment.
Toy Song TV - 2-Jan-17 @ 9:28 PM
Hi, I'm starting a commercial bee farming operation and am making to jump from being a hobbyist to becoming a full time bee farmer.This involves significant outlay in buying equipment.Would I be able to apply for a grant to help with the purchase or hives and equipment?Where should I start in applying for a grant? Thanks
PBW - 30-Aug-16 @ 12:16 PM
@Paul. It would be better to contact DEFRA directly and ask about grants available.
Oh Dear - 10-Aug-16 @ 11:25 AM
I started a small red deer farming enterprise just over a year ago on the Dorset/Wiltshire border. It operates on 15 acres of a rented farm, which extends to approx. 70 acres, within which I hope to expand. Would the business qualify for funding aid for further deer fencing and for the installation of a deer handling facility? Thank you
Paul - 8-Aug-16 @ 8:41 PM
Jfe - Your Question:
We are farmers in North Devon and in the early stages of setting up a renewable energy consultancy business from our farm in Burrington. We were wondering if there are any grants available for marketing / corporate identity creation or / and for research & business development.

Our Response:
Here are few options that you could try:
Business Development Grants programme Grants for micro & small businesses in a rural area and farmers wanting to diversify into non-agricultural activities
The Countryside Productivity Scheme
The Energy Saving Trust
GrantsExpert - 6-Oct-15 @ 11:32 AM
We are farmers in North Devon and in the early stages of setting up a renewable energy consultancy business from our farm in Burrington. We were wondering if there are any grants available for marketing / corporate identity creation or / and for research & business development.
Jfe - 5-Oct-15 @ 12:35 PM
@jenny. try your local council and business/chambers of commerce organisations - they're usually the best place to start for business grants
GrantsExpert - 7-May-15 @ 2:42 PM
I work part time for a small timber frame building company that would like to move to slightly larger premises at Sheffield Park, East Sussex.Would there be any grants available to help us with moving costs and or set up costs. Thank you
jenny - 1-May-15 @ 5:04 PM
My family inherited some agricultural land in 2004 and since then it has laid fallow. We have recently decided to plant a vineyard to sell the grapes as a crop. As we have deer locally we need to install deer fencing, do you know if there is any funding available to assist with the project as a whole or even just the deer fencing? The property is approximately 9 acres (3.6 hectares). Thanks.
MW - 31-Mar-15 @ 9:14 PM
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