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RURAL BUSINESSES BENEFIT FROM£3M FUND

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Twenty projects dedicated to helping budding entrepreneurs and ...
Twenty projects dedicated to helping budding entrepreneurs and

existing businesses affected by foot and mouth disease are today

celebrating their share of£3m from the government's Phoenix

Fund.

The winning projects are all unique in their approach, matching local

solutions to local needs. But they all have one thing in common -

bringing communities together to help them help themselves.

They will be offering a diverse range of support, including:

- Marketing, to ensure the widest possible customer base

- ICT training to make accessing and paying for products easier

- Setting up local supply networks

- skills training in a wide variety of areas

- establishing Business Clubs to share best practice and experiences

- creating sales outlets that will benefit a variety of micro

businesses

Nigel Griffiths, minister for small business said:

'These projects will help breathe much-needed life back into the

rural economy. They will develop essential new business and

promotional ideas that will help to revitalise local communities.

'I am all too aware of the damaging effect FMD had on rural

businesses and budding entrepreneurs, both economically and

personally. Many people lost confidence in their businesses, and in

their ability to bounce back.

'There is a wealth of untapped potential in our rural heartlands,

from local food producers through tourism to Internet ventures. I aim

to make sure that these projects set that potential free, and

encourage more people to set up their own businesses in the

countryside, which in turn will create more confidence, more jobs,

and more thriving rural communities.'

Business Links, local authorities, voluntary bodies and community

action groups are already working closely with rural businesses to

help alleviate the effects of FMD. The projects funded by the DFRR

will complement and build on those activities, by stimulating

imaginative and new solutions to the problems they face.

The DFRR is part of the Phoenix Fund, which is a major element of the

National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal. The fund was set up to

encourage entrepreneurship in disadvantaged areas and

under-represented groups, which in turn helps regenerate communities

by providing jobs and role models, attracting more businesses into

deprived areas and stimulating local economies.

Notes

1. More information about the Phoenix Fund is available hereor by calling the SBS Inquiry Line on 0114 259 7788.

2. The Development Fund for Rural Renewal was announced on 7th

November 2001, and the closing date for bids was 31st January 2002.

A total of 67 bids were received.

3. See below for details of winning bids.

WINNING BIDS

NORTH EAST

Uniun Enterprise Trust

Rural Coalfield Regeneration

Uniun Enterprise Trust is a community regeneration project and was

founded in 1998 in a bid to provide ongoing advice and support for

businesses, community and environmental incentives together with

training and employment for SE Northumberland.

The project will harness peoples skills, potential skills, self help

initiatives and desire to undertake work of personal and community

benefit. It will provide motivation and inspiration for local people

to become involved in activities such as planning, dealing with

statutory and professional agencies, fundraising and developing

entrepreneurial skills. Uniun Trust will become a focus for

regeneration activities and act as a catalyst for social regeneration

projects in the community.

Total bid£ 140,152

Business Link for Northumberland

Northumberland Extension to Enterprise Scheme

The project will seek to assist individuals who are already operating

part-time businesses and those wishing to start. It will extend

business support to part-time businesses which are currently hard to

reach. This should lead to some formalising of these businesses and

encourage them in to full time activity. In addition the geography of

the county, which is the most sparsely populated in England, means

that access to support is difficult. This is compounded by the

inherent reticence of remoter communities to engage with formal

support mechanisms which results in these communities fending for

themselves.

Total bid£71,300

Made in Northumberland

Made in Northumberland was established in November 1999 by Business

Link Northumberland to support arts and crafts and food and drink

producers in Northumberland.

The project consists of merging two existing pilot projects into a

joint marketing and promotional not for profit organisation to work

closely with micro and community businesses in developing a

co-ordinated approach in promoting established and new activities.

The project will determine the needs and development issues of the

members following FMD and work with individual businesses and

voluntary groups to improve their marketing capacity. It will create

an awareness and understanding of Northumberland culture both

nationally and internationally via the internet.

Total bid£143,386

NORTH WEST

Business Link for Cumbria

Promoting Enterprise in Rural Communities

Cumbria CREDITS was established six years ago to establish and

develop a network of Community development centres throughout

Cumbria. This project will utilise the network to deliver services to

the heart of 25 key communities and will target existing businesses

and those in rural communities who have the potential to start new

enterprises. Appropriate use of ICT.

Total bid£155,890

Furness Tourism Partnership

Lake District Peninsulas Fight Back

Project Manager: Angela Knowles

Furness Tourism Partnership was established in 1992 to assist

economic regeneration after significant job losses in the ship

building industry.

The project will employ an Enterprise Champion who will drive forward

innovative ways to draw together private sector operators from the

tourism industry through Business Clubs. This will improve the

quality recognition and status of the area as a tourist destination.

Total bid£86,000

Genesis (Cumbria) Ltd.

E-marketplace for Cumbria

Genesis was created in 1995 by Cumbria County Council to improve

access to online IT information. It has since become a trust and

secured funding to become an online business to business network.

The aim of the project is to create an independent on line market

connecting buyers and suppliers in Cumbria. It will be a single

electronic catalogue of products and services aggregated from a

number of SMEs simplifying the purchase of products.

Total bid£315,624

Solway Rural Initiatives Ltd

Solway Treasury

Solway Rural Initiatives was set up in 1992 with principal objectives

of rural economic development, community development and

environmental management.

The project will encourage local communities to assist in business

recovery by buying more goods/services from local suppliers. A 'Buy

Local' call centre and a new local business website will be promoted

and this will assist in raising marketing skills. ICT training to

both businesses and communities will be provided.

Total bid£201,962

Voluntary Action Cumbria - Rural Women's Unit

Growing Rural Opportunities for Women

Voluntary Action Cumbria is a registered charity and company limited

by guarantee and the Rural Community Council for Cumbria. Since 1948

it has enabled rural people to take positive action to enhance their

own community.

The project will enable women who want to pursue enterprise ambitions

by offering an ongoing series of personal development training, to

rebuild the confidence shattered by FMD. It will run a series of

business skills training workshops to improve management, marketing

and workplace skills and will ensure countrywide networking to access

highest quality speakers.

Total bid£54,844

SOUTH WEST

The Tarka Foundation

Tarka Country - Back to Business

The Tarka Foundation is wholly funded by its members and works

closely with the Tarka Country Trust, which is a registered charity.

Any surplus funds are passed from the Foundation to the Trust.

The project will provide the infrastructure for longer term business

support and is designed to promote innovative ideas through the

mechanism of skill sharing at worker rather than consultant level.

Key features are the provision of an area wide joint IT marketing

facility; locally based Back to Business Workers; technical

innovation groups and 'created in -..' identities for village

products.

Total bid£126,700

Tamar Valley Service

Marketing the Tamar Valley

This is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty partnership.

The project objectives are to raise awareness of the area; explore

the potential for a generic Tamar Valley brand; build the business

skills of local SMEs; encourage the use of local products and

services and celebrate the local distinctiveness of the area, its

food, products, culture and natural beauty. The project will

provide/direct business training and support and will develop

marketing skills.

Total bid£149,715

Stratserve Ltd

Taste

This proposal is is sent from a Partnership of Private Sector

organisations facilitated by the Taste of the West.

The objective of this project is to form a consortium of Food

Producers and Processors who will franchise a retail light restaurant

format to between 20 and 125 sites, initially in the South and

Midlands of England, from where the majority of Westcountry tourism

derives. The vision is to create a supply chain from non primary

producers to the table with the products being traceable and of high

quality.

Total bid£50,000

Assured Management Solutions

Hotel Management

This is a partnership including South West Tourism, Assured

Management Solutions Ltd and four other suppliers of web design

support, hardware, business advisors and training. It is designed to

supply an integrated approach to the use of the various suppliers

functions and methodologies to integrate systems with TIC systems.

The project will deliver a balanced 'Advice and IT' solution to

hotels and guest houses in FMD affected areas in the South West and

will not duplicate existing Business Advice provision but integrate

with it. The localised provision to individual businesses will

include IT hardware and software, Internet connectivity and on-line

booking facilities within a business and marketing application with

full training. The project will boost efficiency, integration of

marketing and overall effectiveness.

Total bid£50,000

EAST MIDLANDS

Business Link Derbyshire

Business as Usual

This is an innovative co-ordinated series of initiatives to help the

tourism sector recover from Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). The project

comprises promotion, business support, management development, skills

training and the development of a food and drink network. The twin

aims of the project are to bring visitors back and ensure that

tourism SMEs are ready to deliver high quality products and services.

The project will support 80 SMEs, create a network of 100 companies,

help 30 businesses with management development, train 80 SME managers

and employees and create one new supply chain. Will revitalise the

Peak District tourist industry and enable it to face domestic and

overseas destinations.

Total bid :£151,490

WEST MIDLANDS

Business Link Shropshire

Women in Rural Enterprise

This project will enable 180 female rural entrepreneurs to undertake

tailor made personal development and business skills training.

Working with WIRE Business Clubs will enable Business Link Shropshire

to reach a client group that is currently under represented in the

take up of mainstream business start-up and support programmes.

Female rural entrepreneurs will be able to develop business

management skills and maximise networking opportunities. The project

will enable Business Link Shropshire to target business support

activities above and beyond its core services.

Total bid£82,805

YORKSHIRE & HUMBERSIDE

Chrysalis Arts Ltd.

North Yorkshire Creative Business Network

Chrysalis Arts is a visual arts not for profit company and training

agency specialising in art for public spaces and is an annual revenue

client of Yorkshire Arts. The project aims to establish a new pilot

model for rural clustering and a networking agency to support

creative SMEs and micro businesses. It will aim to increase and

identify new markets, primarily for visual artists and makers through

a range of services and events which will make particular use of

innovative marketing and IT and will provide a vital link, resource

and information point.

Total Bid£219,500

Calderdale MBC

Pennine Products

The project seeks to establish a flourishing promotional and

marketing umbrella organisation that will support the extensive and

varied craft and artisan businesses of the Pennine area. An energetic

Co-ordinator will be employed and premises taken which will include a

comprehensive resource office and showroom/sales area. All quality

businesses will be encouraged to participate as members and to adopt

a much less parochial attitude in viewing the competition as being

less from their neighbour but more from outside the sub region.

Total bid£37,754

NATIONAL

Arthur Rank Centre

Hidden Britain Centres

The Arthur Rank Centre is a partnership between the (ecumenical)

churches, the Rank Foundation and the Royal Agricultural Society of

England. It has for 30 years been serving rural people and their

churches throughout the UK.

The project provides an innovative way for local communities to

develop and use existing resources for a unique tourism enterprise.

By the personal presentation of local heritage, history, folklore,

existing countryside, modern craft etc. visitors will be given a

unique insight into what otherwise would be hidden Britain. Operated

over various, otherwise inaccessible sites.

Total bid£ 201,872

British Hospitality Association

Building Network Capacity

The British Hospitality Association has been representing the hotel,

restaurant and catering industry for 90 years. The Association exists

to ensure that the views of the British hospitality industry are

represented to government and policy makers.

The project aims to transform the hospitality and tourism sector from

a fragmented state to a well supported industry. It will work to a

national industry forum framework to create and build upon local and

regional network structures in order to increase their knowledge and

understanding of performance in the industry and share best practice.

The project will strengthen links between employers and sector

networks and bring support agencies closer to the issues facing the

business community. By the end of the project 50 networks will have

benefited.

Total bid£144,000

Co-operative Union ( The Plunkett Foundation )

Growing Rural Businesses Through Collaborative Solutions

The Co-operative Union, incorporating ICOM, is the apex body for

co-operatives in the UK and its membership includes retail societies,

housing co-operatives,employee owned businesses and co-operative

support organisations. Founded in 1869 it is an independent trade

association, funded by members and has become the lead body in the

co-operative movement.

This project is about people working together and finding joint ways

forward for their common business needs. The first objective is about

getting businesses to work together on joint branding, purchasing and

service provision. The second to forge alliances to buy out a

successful business when for any reason the owner wishes to step

down.

Total bid£347,645

English Tourism Council

EnglandNet eBusiness Animation Programme

The project seeks to aid the recovery and re-engineering of rural

tourism businesses and providers in England through the creation of

an on-line Tourism community and an extensive supporting business

development programme. The project will support the 'animation' of

businesses into adaptation to eBusiness, through a targeted

combination of awareness raising activities, advice and actions to

extend skills and capacity for appropriate utilisation of electronic

business tool and channels. The objective is to enable SMEs and micro

businesses to benefit from on-line transactions.

Total bid£380,000

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