Rural businesses in Wealden and Rother are being encouraged to apply for a new £1.5m fund launched in a bid to boost the UK's rural economy.
The LEADER fund is available to a range of rural businesses, including farmers, environmental organisations and community providers, as well as voluntary and charitable organisations.
As the funding stream comes via the EU, there were concerns that it may be stopped after the referendum result.
However, reassurance has now been given that businesses and communities in the rural areas of Wealden and Rother will be able to apply until September next year - and possibly longer.
Philip Johnson, director of Locate East Sussex, said: “We welcome the news that this funding, which is worth around £1.5m, will remain in place for at least another 20 months and encourage rural businesses to apply.”
LEADER funding is part of Defra’s Rural Development Programme for England and channels support from the Common Agricultural Policy budget to rural enterprises.
Plumpton College is managing the delivery of the LEADER programme through the WARR Partnership, which is supported by Rother and Wealden District Councils, as well as East Sussex County Council.
During the last 12 months, the WARR Partnership has agreed around £300,000 worth of funding for rural projects, creating more than 18 full-time equivalent jobs, and is leading to over £1m being invested in small businesses and communities (including matched private sector funding).
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