Food and drink market in East Devon
Image credit: Clayton Jane Photography

East Devon District Council is experiencing a surge in interest for its latest grant fund, reflecting a strong demand to innovate and diversify among local businesses and organisations.

Round 3 of the Innovation and Resilience Grant Fund (IRF3) aims to bolster sustainable economic growth in the district, particularly in the most rural areas. IRF3 has attracted widespread interest from businesses and organisations working in a range of sectors, eager to secure funding for their projects.

Tom Winters, East Devon District Council’s IRF3 Project Manager, commented:

We are thrilled to see such a high level of interest in our grant fund. It's a testament to the passion to innovate and protect our planet, as well as the entrepreneurial spirit and resilience of our business community, especially in challenging times.

We encourage all eligible businesses and organisations in East Devon to take advantage of this opportunity and submit their applications. Together, we can stimulate clean, economic growth and create a more vibrant and resilient community.             

IRF3 provides financial assistance to transformational projects which create new, high-value employment or to increase productivity.  This includes support for farm businesses looking to expand and diversify their offer from agriculture. This could be producing new food like ice cream, offering services such as cookery classes or recreational courses, or turning a farm into a tourist attraction.

All applications must be for specific and innovative projects. Businesses that primarily operate or trade in East Devon (excluding Exmouth) can apply for between £3,000 and £30,000 of capital funding, with a 30% match funding requirement. Previously a range of projects across sectors have been funded, from net zero innovations to intelligent machinery to boost manufacturing. Find out more

All applicants must submit an Expression of Interest (EoI) before 8th May 2024. If it is approved, a full bid application should follow. The deadline for full bid submissions is 24th May 2024 at 4pm. Funding will be awarded to successful applicants from June 2024.  

Applications from Exmouth-based businesses are not eligible because IRF3 is funded by the DEFRA Rural England Prosperity Fund. 

Read about previous recipients and case studies, along with criteria and guidance to the scheme.