Business Boost advisors providing ‘valuable’ help

East Devon District Council is helping rural businesses apply for EU funded grants in a bid to create jobs and boost the local economy.

The council is providing specialist support to rural businesses and organisations to help them develop applications for a slice of a £1.4 million *LEADER pot of funding which is to be awarded to projects in parts of Mid and East Devon, and Somerset.

East Devon’s business support provider - Business Boost – is working with rural firms to ‘sponsor’ them through the grant application process.

Over the next three years,  the Making it Local Action Group,  covering parishes including the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and surrounding gateway market towns, will oversee the awarding of the funds.

The action group will act as a panel, made up of private and community sector representatives, to award the grants locally to farmers, growers, foresters, other local rural businesses and rural community organisations.

It will support projects that create opportunities to improve the local economy in terms of jobs and growth, as well as improving the quality of life in the area.

East Devon business, Rebel Town Pizza Company, was one of the first to take the initial step in applying for a Making it Local grant.

Owner Ross Clifford wants to expand his unique wood fired pop-up pizzeria and Business Boost was able to help him with his business planning, market research and strategy. The Business Boost advisor also assisted with his competitor analysis and financial forecasting which confirmed that the business was able to meet the grant priorities around jobs and growth.

Ross said:

My Business Boost advisor provided professional and valuable support throughout the entire process; I would recommend other businesses in East Devon who are seeking grants of this nature, seek the advice of a Business Boost advisor to significantly increase their chances of success.

Councillor Philip Skinner, East Devon District Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Economy, said:

For many years, East Devon District Council has maintained its commitment to supporting small businesses to start up and grow.

 We’re really proud to be able to benefit our local rural economies through our funding of this specialist project sponsor support. This is helping entrepreneurs like Ross develop successful applications for *LEADER funding and supporting local food and drink producers in the process.

To find out more about the funding programme visit the Local Action Group website.