Rural Funding

The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) aims to improve competitiveness in the agriculture and forestry sector; safeguard and enhance the rural environment; foster competitive and sustainable rural businesses and thriving rural communities.

Programme Transfer to DEFRA 

The responsibility for the delivery of the socio-economic elements (Axis 1,3 and 4) of the RDPE will transfer from the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) to the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) as of the 1st July 2011.
Over the next 12 months Defra expect to move towards a more consistent national model of delivery for the remainder of the programme period (to 31st December 2013), which delivers efficiencies for the taxpayer but retains a network of locally accessible delivery support.
Priorities for the Programme going forward include: competitiveness of the farming sector; skills and knowledge transfer; support for upland areas; rural broadband; and tourism.
Both Yorkshire Forward and Defra are working to minimise any disruption as a result of the transfer, though there may be some small administrative delays as processes switch over from one organisation to another, and as accommodation and IT moves take place.

A series of Questions and Answers about the transfer can be found here.

Who can access RDPE funding?

RDPE investment is available to farmers and rural entrepreneurs to support the start up of new businesses and the growth of existing enterprises.  The fund also supports skills development in agriculture and forestry, and helps communities to make the most of their local heritage and cultural assets.

Which programmes are funded by RDPE?

We work with partners in our region to design and deliver programmes through which businesses and communities can benefit from RDPE funding. These are:

  • The Rural Enterprise Investment Programme (REIP) - REIP offers funding to help rural businesses start up or expand. Minimum grants of £25,000 are available.
  • The Farm Resource Efficiency Programme (FREP) - FREP is a small capital-grants programme which helps farmers introduce new technology to promote efficiency in energy, manure management and water resource management.
  • LEADER - LEADER empowers local communities to get involved in improving the places where they live. The programme focuses on basic services, culture and heritage, village development, and renewal
  • LandSkills - LandSkills helps to develop the specialist skills essential to the development of the agricultural, horticultural and forestry sectors
  • RDPE Community Broadband Grant Scheme - a grant scheme to support access to superfast broadband services in rural communities in Yorkshire and Humber.  We are targeting rural areas covered by LEADER within the Yorkshire and Humber region.


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Rural Enterprise Investment Programme (REIP)
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