What is the purpose of the scheme?
The primary aim of the Rural Initiative Scheme (RIS) is to promote and accelerate growth in the rural and maritime economy and help it adapt to the new challenges it faces in the future. This will be achieved by supporting appropriate diversification, enterprise and innovation whilst avoiding the displacement of existing businesses. The RIS is looking to support projects that can meet the following objectives:
- increase the penetration of niche markets and development of new ‘value added’ processes and markets
- improve productivity and sales and reduce costs
- raise the share business receives within the supply chain
- improve skilled employment opportunities through job creation, education and training
- assist rural businesses to adapt and mitigate against climate change, including funding for business energy efficiency audits
- develop and implement new waste management procedures
- promote and develop new rural-tourism initiatives
- implement best practice operating procedures throughout the rural sector
- encourage island producers to evaluate export market potential
What type of assistance is available?
Grants are available for all land or sea dependent activities, including agricultural and fishing businesses and land-dependent rural tourism activities. Assistance is available under 4 categories:
- research - a grant to explore a number of options before identifying a course of action you wish to pursue, for example through engaging consultants, investigating new ideas and identifying opportunities and training needs
- energy efficiency - a grant to undertake business audits to improve energy efficiency, examine and develop technologies capable of reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and enable businesses to adapt, evaluate and develop technologies and mitigate against climate change
- enterprise - a grant to offset the costs of starting a new enterprise, improving facilities and efficiency, introducing skills training / implementing best practice
- industry-wide - a grant to provide assistance for common infrastructure, which would benefit the industry and not just the applicant. For example, a processing facility, efficiency improvement or climate change mitigation process that will benefit a number of producers
Your application must be submitted by the 31st January 2014 to be considered by the RIS Panel for funding.
Download RIS application form (size 81kb)
Download RIS guidelines (size 51kb)
If you have any questions, please contact the RIS scheme administrator.