Grants boost business for rural companies

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RURAL businesses across the borough have been benefitting from a £300,000 funding pot launched to help small companies branch out.

Last year £100,000 was offered by Leicestershire County Council to support the rural economy and another £100,000 is set to become available in April this year.

The grants have been handed out by Leicestershire Rural Partnership, which aims to improve life for those living and working in rural areas.

Local projects which benefitted from the grants last year, included Terminal 1 Skatepark at Melton Airfield.

The organisation received a £10,000 grant which helped create nine jobs and developed the indoor BMX and skate park further.

Scalford Post Office, which had suffered with crime problems for some time. The money allowed the postmistress to move the post office from her house to an adjoining building for security and viability reasons.

March House Farm, in Great Dalby, also received money to buy a refrigerated delivery van and Brocklebys Farm shop in Asfordby Hill received funds to expand on its equipment and allow it to increase its volume of produce.

As well as providing grants, the Leicestershire Rural Partnership also offered free specialist advice to help village shops and post offices survive the downturn and fend off superstores.

Lesley Pendleton, cabinet member for rural affairs, said: “Our village shops and post offices are the lifeblood of our local economies and we launched the scheme to help them survive and thrive.”

l To find out more about rural business grants visit the Leicestershire Rural Partnership website at