Grant assistance to help rural and maritime businesses thrive and diversify is now available through the Rural Initiative Scheme.
The scheme, which is available from the States’ Rural Economy Section at Howard Davis Farm, is open to all rural and maritime businesses and is focused on helping businesses adapt and diversify to meet future challenges within the market place by supporting appropriate diversification, enterprise and innovation while avoiding the displacement of existing businesses.
Economic Development’s Assistant Minister for Rural Economy, Deputy Carolyn Labey said: “The RIS has been a hugely popular and successful scheme since its launch in 2006, with 70% of applications received meeting the scheme’s objectives and consequently being offered grant aid to support projects that promote economic growth in the countryside.
“The objective of the RIS is to provide support for rural businesses investing in new markets, adding value to existing products, improving productivity, reducing the costs of production, adapting to future challenges or researching new opportunities. The RIS is a positive and easily accessible scheme and one which I would encourage all rural businesses to take advantage of where they have projects that fit the scheme’s objectives.”
Grants are available for all land or sea dependent activities, including agricultural and fishing businesses and land dependent rural tourism activities. Assistance from the RIS is available under four categories:
- Research grant: explore a number of options before identifying a course of action you wish to pursue, for example through engaging consultants, investigating new ideas and identifying opportunities and training needs.
- Energy efficiency grant: undertake business audits to improve energy efficiency evaluate and develop technologies capable of reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions and enable businesses to adapt to and mitigate against climate change.
- Enterprise grant: offset some of the costs of starting a new enterprise, improving facilities and efficiency, introducing skills training and/or implementing best practice.
- Industry-wide grant: provides assistance for common infrastructure, which would benefit the industry as a whole and not just the applicant. For example, a processing facility, efficiency improvement or climate change mitigation process that will benefit a number of producers.
The RIS is looking to support projects that can meet the following objectives:
- Increase the penetration of niche markets and development of new ‘value added’ processes and markets;
- Improve productivity and sales, and reduce costs
- Raise the share business receives within the supply chain
- Improve skilled employment opportunities, through job creation, education and training;
- Assist rural businesses to adapt and mitigate against climate change;
- Develop and implement new waste management procedures;
- Promote and develop new rural-tourism initiatives;
- Implement best practice operating procedures throughout the rural sector;
- Encourage island producers to evaluate export market potential;
All applications must be completed and returned to the Scheme Administrator at Rural Economy, Howard Davis Farm, Trinity, Jersey, JE3 5JP by the 31 August 2012 to be considered by the RIS Panel.
If you have any question or would like any advice about applying for funding please contact Emma Hefford on tel: 441600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the first instance please feel free to download the RIS Guidelines or an Application Form from the Government web site www.gov.je.