The New Forest Rural SME Fund is a competitive fund managed by Natural Enterprise on our behalf.
The fund seeks to support the Solent economy by providing grants to rural small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) with potential for economic growth, leveraging in private sector investment, creating or protecting jobs and assisting the rural sector on the Isle of Wight.
The additional funding for the New Forest Rural Fund will make grants available to rural SMEs of between £2,500 and £50,000, representing up to 50 percent of the total project costs.
This is a fund for New Forest based rural SMEs that require capital investment to progress their project which will enable their business to expand and grow. Grants will need to be claimed by September 2021 and jobs created by December 2022.
To be eligible applications must meet the following criteria:
New Forest Rural SME support is restricted to the rural sector only and funding can only be used to support capital expenditure items.
New Forest Rural SME funding cannot be used for a business’ existing working capital costs. For clarity this includes items such as salaries, rent, rates, utilities, stock and raw materials.
New Forest Rural SME funding must comply with state aid rules. The funding is offered under the “de minimis” aid heading, which permits a maximum of €200,000 of grant aid to a single recipient over a three-year period.
For more information, please see “New Forest Rural SME Fund – Technical Guidance for Applicants” which you can find in the 'Related Content' box to the right.