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AN action group set up to help people working in rural parts of Wiltshire has £1.2 million to give away and is to hold a meeting on February 23 to explain how grants can be claimed.
Vale Action is holding the meeting at Bushton and Clyffe Pypard Village Hall from 10am to 1pm to explain to farmers and others the sort of projects that could be funded.
The project is being supported by Devizes based charity Community First.
Chairman of Vale Action Geraldine McKibbin said: “Do you work in a rural area and are you looking for funds to start up or expand your business?
“The Vale Action Local Action Group has £1.2m of funds available over the next 3 years to help farmers, businesses, local organisations and foresters start up or expand their businesses.”
The meeting will explain how grants are available for capital costs for farm efficiencies and productivity, farm diversification, rural services and rural tourism.
People involved with forestry and heritage and culture could also claim some of the cash.
Mrs McKibbin said: “Having lived in the Vale Action area for many years it is a great pleasure to become the first chairman of a local action group covering the north west area of Wiltshire.
“Businesses and organisations in the area can now access this European funding which, during the next six years, is targeted at increasing the number of jobs and economy in rural areas.”
But she pointed out that those working in bigger towns such as Chippenham and Trowbridge would not be eligible.
Vale Action programme manager Alan Truscott said the funding would run until 2021. He said: “It is all about increasing jobs and the local economy in rural areas.
“Applications for funding must show that they either directly or indirectly do this. For example, you may want to increase production in your business and employ more staff, or you may be a tourist attraction needing help with your marketing to bring in more visitors and thus increase the local economy.
“We recognise that with European Funding the form filling can be quite daunting. We are here to help and will spend time with you to complete the forms. From our experience of the last programme we have compiled a series of helpful guides to take you through the processes of applying and claiming for your grant.”