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FOLK2FOLK seeks to enable access to EU funding for Gloucestershire business

PUBLISHED: 11:36 08 March 2018 | UPDATED: 11:36 08 March 2018

Ian Bell, OBE, Head of Farm and Rural Engagement, FOLK2FOLK (c) Nico Morgan

Ian Bell, OBE, Head of Farm and Rural Engagement, FOLK2FOLK (c) Nico Morgan

Nico Morgan

Ian Bell OBE, Head of Farm and Rural Engagement, FOLK2FOLK: “Resilience is key in any business and vital as we prepare for Brexit. LEADER funding creates a huge opportunity to improve efficiency and strengthen the core farming business. The farmers and business owners have an opportunity to increase the income stream through diversification. It’s a simple case of use it or lose it.”

FOLK2FOLK, the award-winning Peer-to-Peer lending platform for local and rural businesses, today announces that it will host a series of events in Gloucestershire during March 2018. Working on the premise that access to funding is often a required engine for business success, the purpose of the events will be:

• To help local, rural businesses, farmers and landowners learn more about the funding options available to them.

• Equip and enable access to finance needed for growth, development and diversification, something that can often prove difficult for rural business.

Professional support and insight will also be provided by local specialists Harrison Clark Rickerbys, Tanners, Hazlewoods and the Forest and Tewkesbury Borough LEADER Programmes.

A specific focus will be placed on access to EU LEADER grant funding available to micro and small businesses in the area. Grants range from £5,000 to £100,000 with businesses able to apply for up to 40% of eligible project costs. The remaining 60% must be sourced from private match funding. A representative from the local LEADER group has been invited to provide an overview.

FOLK2FOLK can provide interest only secured debt finance to support these projects, assisting with match funding or finance until grant payments are received. Once the grant application has been agreed, FOLK2FOLK will progress a full loan application through to an offer when FOLK2FOLK Lenders are then invited to fund the loan.

Local businesses have until December 2018 to access the grant funding, but will require paperwork in place before the deadline, typically 2-3 months in advance. These grants help businesses grow by enabling them to use the funds to pay 40% of the total finance they require.

LEADER grants are designed to support micro and small businesses which are able to create new jobs and promote business growth through the area. LEADER funds have been used to support a variety of business sectors including manufacturing, retail, farm diversification/productivity, rural services, tourism and forestry productivity.

Ian Bell OBE, Head of Farm and Rural Engagement, FOLK2FOLK: “Resilience is key in any business and vital as we prepare for Brexit. LEADER funding creates a huge opportunity to improve efficiency and strengthen the core farming business. The farmers and business owners have an opportunity to increase the income stream through diversification. It’s a simple case of use it or lose it.”

Panel dates:

• March 28 – Hillside Brewery, Forest of Dean 18:00 – 20:00

• March 29 – Hales Fruit Farm, Winchcombe 18:00 – 20:00

Visit the FOLK2FOLK website here.

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