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Rural business

The South East Midlands countryside is home to inspiring entrepreneurs and flourishing rural businesses. With a quarter of people and a third of businesses being based in rural areas, our rolling countryside plays a vital role in the economy.

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Support for rural businesses

At SEMLEP, we're committed to helping the South East Midlands rural economy to thrive. Whether businesses want to discover funding opportunities or talk one on one with a Business Adviser, we're here to help. Find the support best aligned to your needs below. 

The Rural Group

To help amplify the voices of rural businesses, SEMLEP created the rural group. Established in 2014 the group is formed of rural representatives from the public, private, and VCSE sectors, offering first-hand rural expertise and local market intelligence.

The SEMLEP rural group meets once every three months to discuss funding opportunities, upcoming webinar opportunities and to provide a forum for businesses to share their experiences, challenges and thoughts with like-minded people.

Want to join? The rural group is looking to expand its representation of rural-based SMEs from within the South East Midlands. Please contact SEMLEP Rural Lead, Ken Christy at enquiries@kenchristy-ruralsupport.com if you would like to join. Benefit from an enhanced understanding of the local rural economy.

Support for rural businesses

As 24/7, 365-days-a-year businesses, it’s fair to say that the rural economy faces unique pressures. We’re here to help however we can. SEMLEP’s Growth Hub offers businesses fully funded support offering one to one advice and guidance. Get in touch today to talk about your business challenges, opportunities or to set growth strategies.

Access SEMLEP's Growth Hub

Rural Funding for Farmers

Looking for funding? Our rural group works hard to identify funding opportunities designed to support rural businesses. 

Key dates to look out for in 2023

See below a full picture of what funding is available and when throughout 2023: 

Find out more information

Sustainable Farming Incentive 

The Sustainable Farming Incentive has opened for applications in England today (30 June 2022). The scheme will reward sustainable practices which support food production and benefit the environment. This will ensure long-term food security by investing in the foundations of food production: healthy soil, water, and biodiverse ecosystems. 

It's the first of three new environmental land management schemes being introduced under the Agricultural Transition Plan.

Click here for more information, and to apply 

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