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Qualifying for the Rural Enterprise Scheme (RES)

By: Jennifer Lowe - Updated: 17 Aug 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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I am exploring purchasing the local shop which hasn’t traded for 2 years due to poor management. Would your scheme help to fund the purchase of the premise and revamp? The main aim is to generate emplyment to adults in the village as well as a safe place for the elderly to go and get local produce. Any guidance would be appreciated. Many Thanks Tom
Tom - 17-Aug-18 @ 1:09 AM
Bob Taylor - Your Question:
We have planted an apple pear and plum orchard as well as other soft fruits which are now producing significant amounts of fruit and would to start producing cold pressed and pastuerised juices and cordials to sell locally.Is there a grant available to assist us with the start up.we are in rural Shropshire.

Our Response:
Try the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) Growth Programme or Leader Scheme.
GrantsExpert - 13-Aug-18 @ 11:36 AM
We have planted an applepear and plum orchard as well as other soft fruits which are now producing significantamounts of fruitand would to start producing cold pressed and pastuerisedjuicesand cordials to sell locally.Is there a grant available to assist us with the startup.we are inrural Shropshire.
Bob Taylor - 11-Aug-18 @ 6:22 PM
Ali - Your Question:
I want to convert a building or buy a portakabin which is eco friendly and to be used for cheese production. Where would I begin looking for a grant?Thanks

Our Response:
Try the above suggestions and also business start up grants. Your local council will be able to refer you to locally organisations that can help.
GrantsExpert - 1-Aug-18 @ 3:07 PM
I want to convert a building or buy a portakabin which is eco friendly and to be used for cheese production. Where would I begin looking for a grant? Thanks
Ali - 31-Jul-18 @ 1:09 PM
Mark Lindsell - Your Question:
HiI have a working farm - now mainly arable and have a few old buildings that were originally used for pigs but have been redundant for decades - am thinking of converting them to office/studio space's are there grants available for such projects.ThanksMark

Our Response:
There may be some farm diversification grants available in your area - start with the government advice for more details.
GrantsExpert - 30-Jul-18 @ 11:59 AM
Good morning, Please could you signpost me in the direction of South yorkshire’s equivalent grant? We have planning permission to convert a barn and are hoping to offer it as a holiday let for horse riding holidays and general travel. Thank you
Jen - 29-Jul-18 @ 7:41 AM
Hi I have a working farm -now mainly arable and have a few old buildings that were originally used for pigs but have been redundant for decades - am thinking of converting them to office/studio space's are there grants available for such projects. Thanks Mark
Mark Lindsell - 27-Jul-18 @ 7:41 AM
Hi.... I have a very old grade two stone barn on the farm. I would very much like to convert it into a holiday let but currently only have £25,000 to contribute to the project, could I get any grants to assist with this. Thanks
Rosie - 20-Jul-18 @ 5:52 PM
There is an old abandoned shop in my village that is due to go on the market. I would like to turn it into a cafe for the community. Although it’s not listed it’s located next to listed buildings and in an area that is protected and deemed to be of historical interest. What grants would I best to look at?
MrsBirdie - 17-Jul-18 @ 5:45 PM
Tony - Your Question:
I am looking to set up as a commercial bee keeper. Trying to find out what Grant are available. I have 80 hives up and running at the moment and would like to increase to 250. I live in South Wales UK.

Our Response:
Try:
The Duchy of Lancaster Bee Keeping Grant
Rowse Be a Bee Farmer Initiative
Small Holder Magazine
The Bee Farmers Association
GrantsExpert - 26-Jun-18 @ 3:22 PM
I am lookingto set up as a commercial bee keeper. Tryingtofindout whatGrant are available. I have80 hivesup andrunningat the momentand wouldlike toincreaseto 250. I liveinSouthWales UK.
Tony - 24-Jun-18 @ 1:27 PM
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
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