Almost £9 million have been allocated to the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), a part of which will be used to fund small-scale renewable and broadband infrastructure improvements in rural areas.
The funds will help stimulate growth, develop skills and boost the local economy through rural businesses. The award comes from a pot of £177 million being divided between LEPs and is the eighth highest allocation to be made to the 39 LEPs operating in England.
Ruth Carver, Manager of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, said: “We invested a lot of time in lobbying on a national level to make it clear that Greater Lincolnshire, as a largely rural region, deserved to be given an amount which reflected our needs.
“This funding will go a long way towards securing the economic future of our area, allowing us to build and strengthen the local economy in a sustainable way."
Final details on how the fund will be spent are still being drawn up, but it is expected to be used to develop knowledge and skills in rural areas and fund new and developing rural businesses not connected to agriculture.
It will also fund small-scale renewable and broadband investments improving infrastructure as well as supporting tourism activities in rural areas.
Lincolnshire County Council and the Greater Lincolnshire LEP are currently drawing up a strategy on how to make best use of the money, and it is anticipated that eligible local projects will be invited to bid for a share of the funding from spring 2014.
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