Rural firms urged to bid for grant

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New and emerging rural businesses are invited to bid for grants of up to £1,500.

Businesses between the Peak District, Sheffield and Barnsley are eligible in the Villages and Communities Project three-month pilot scheme, funded by a grant from Sheffield’s northern community assembly to its project partner the Peak District National Park Authority.

Coun Trever Bagshaw, assembly chairman, said: “We want to help small rural businesses whose products or services help strengthen the economic and social vitality of the area and improve the environment.”

The assembly would like to hear from anyone from the rural edges of Sheffield and the Peak District who think they qualify for the scheme.

Sharon Batty, village and communities officer, said: “Examples of what we might help with are start-up costs, patenting costs, feasibility studies, expert advice on marketing, bookkeeping or tax, website design, training or small-scale machinery and equipment.

“This pilot round of the grant scheme will finish on Saturday, March 31, with the projects needing to be complete by the end of May 2012, so there’s no time to lose.”

n For details, call Sharon on 0114 284 7943, or email villageofficer@peakdistrict.gov.uk