Tech funding boost for rural businesses


Funds are available for companies developing technology applications benefiting rural businesses in Lincolnshire

Investments of up to £25,000 are available through the Creative England Rural B2B (Superfast Broadband) Fund. Grants are available to innovative SMEs, with innovative digital solutions for companies based in rural areas. The type of businesses to benefit could include, but are not limited to, agriculture, food, engineering, renewable, transport or visitor economy.

Ideas for applications include anything from apps measuring carbon footprint to industry specific auction websites or intelligent tourism apps. Options are limitless, as applicants are asked to come up with the best digital B2B solutions for the rural market.

These new digital solutions could take advantage of the superfast broadband infrastructure, and are asked to deliver products or services that help local businesses.

Director of business development Creative England Jim Farmery said: “At Creative England we are passionate about helping our creative industries thrive and creating economic growth in the regions. The Rural B2B fund aims to give cross-sector support to SMEs across England and provide investment to those with innovative creative potential.”

The programme is funded by the Regional Growth Fund and managed by Creative England in partnership with Onlincolnshire.

Executive member for economic development at Lincolnshire County Council Colin Davie said: “Over the next few years we’ll be dramatically improving broadband speeds, and we want to make sure local businesses within the eligible regions are in pole position to reap the benefits.

“We’re already providing a wide range of support to help our firms make the most out of digital technology, and this project will take things another step forward.”

The deadline is Sunday, July 27, applicants can register and apply via the Creative England registration form. The application process begins with a simple online eligibility check and invitation to complete an expression of interest application. Submissions will be checked and, if successful, businesses invited to submit a full online application to illustrate the business case for investment. The application also requires 50/50 match funding.