Grants: RDPE Growth Programme extended to 31 May 2018

You could be eligible for a grant from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) if your business is carrying out a project to create jobs or bring more money into the rural economy.

The RDPE Growth Programme is open to all locations in the South Oxfordshire district, including towns not included in some other rural grant schemes, such as LEADER. Culham Science Centre based businesses are advised to contact the RPA in the first instance.


There are 3 types of grant, aimed at boosting business development, food processing and rural tourism infrastructure.

Handbooks available on the website tell you more about each type of grant, including who can apply, what grants are available and which specific activities can and cannot be claimed for.

For this area, minimum project size is £87,500 with up to 40% grant towards the project meaning a maximum of £35,000 available. If the project is not-for-profit, organisations can apply for up to 80-100% which means your project would not need to be so large to hit the £35,000 minimum amount.

The grants are funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), which is part of the European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF). The deadline for initial expressions of interest is 31 May 2018.

How to apply

The Rural Payments Agency will assess all expressions of interest. The RPA will look for projects that meet national and local priorities for funding, grants are not awarded automatically to applicants.

The two part application process starts with submitting an expression of interest, which should tell the RPA about the work you’re doing and how the grant could help you. The expression of interest handbook is available to download at this link.

If the RPA assesses that your expression of interest is suitable, they will invite you to submit a full application.

If you’re interested in applying for a Growth Programme grant, there are applicant workshops running, where you will be able to find out more about the grants and how to apply. To check if there is an event near you, email