Today, there are far fewer grants available, especially for farming and agriculture. However, some Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) such as New Anglia LEP continue to offer grants for business growth. They are not as generous as those we used to see from Defra but are still valuable to a developing business. The big question is, are you eligible to apply?

The minute you say you are a farmer usually ends the conversation, with a grant funder, as farming and agricultural projects often fall outside grant-making criteria. However, your business may be diversified, and your project may not be directly related to farming.

For example, a converted barn may provide tourist accommodation, however, the LEP may not be aware of that.

When your business started, your accountant will have told the tax man and Companies House that you were a farmer. They register your business with what is called a SIC code (Standard Industrial Classification of economic activity). There is a complex web of them that can precisely define a business sector. And you can have more than one SIC code, especially if you have diversified into tourism, food processing, manufacturing or another non-farming activity.

Whilst your farming SIC code might rule you out for LEP grants, another SIC code might rule you back in!

If you are diversified and looking for a grant, ask your accountant to add an appropriate SIC code to your registration. That would mean that the LEP, checking your registration, will realise that you do have non-farm activities and may find you eligible for a grant after all.

To find out more about how ARC can help you secure a valuable grant do get in touch.

Richard Rampton
Anglia Rural Consultants