Rural development schemes to offer £30m boost

image copyrightVillage Bakery
image captionThe Village Bakery in Wrexham is one of the companies supported by rural grant aid

Rural transport, jobs and food production will be boosted by schemes offering £30m worth of funding.

They are the latest part of the Welsh government's £1bn rural development programme aimed at revitalising and supporting the countryside by 2020.

Deputy Farming Minister Rebecca Evans said the aim was to generate economic activity while safeguarding resources.

She said she wanted to ensure "the fabric of rural Wales is increasingly more resilient and sustainable".

"What we do today must be with a view to maximising the enormous opportunities there are in rural Wales, for the good of our future generations," she said.

Farmers, firms and other rural organisations are being invited to apply for cash under four new schemes:

  • Rural Community Development Fund, to support transport and other "connective" projects
  • Sustainable Production Grant, to help farmers
  • Food Business Investment Scheme, focusing on jobs
  • Co-operation programme, open to innovative ideas in any sector

The seven year Rural Communities programme also includes grants awarded under the Glastir and LEADER schemes.

Funding is available to applicants right across Wales, with Welsh government advisors saying at least 20 of the 22 local authorities include rural areas.

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