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Chris Galley

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Monday 4 February – New DEFRA fund for rural jobs

As alluded to on my blog last Friday, today the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has announced a £20 million package of specialist training for aspiring business people in rural areas. £12 million of this is available for new projects, and is the sort of thing that can help to keep young people working in the countryside. It is targetted at adults working in the farming and forestry sectors, also for those working in traditional rural skills or tourism sectors – some 90,000 people in all. Now the catch with all these things is that funding tends to be sent via private training companies, so it is vital that Northumberland doesn’t lose out. Luckily there is a consortium of training organisations for the North East, called NEAL, which will hopefully ensure we get a good slice of the action.

Furthermore there are other funding options which should be open to rural areas, including Local Enterprise Partnership and Rural Growth Networks.