£100,000 grant allocated to Rutland firms to boost rural diversification.

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Secured by Rutland County Council and Opportunity Peterborough, the grant is part of £1.3M of LEADER funding jointly administered by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

Parker Farms, which is based in Ridlington, has been awarded £49,570, while Oakham-based Simmons Optometrist has received £44,754.

The LEADER programme is designed to boost rural economies, from supporting tourism and small business growth to aiding the development of agriculture, farm diversification and forestry.

Steve Bowyer, Chief Executive at Opportunity Peterborough, commented: "We’re delighted to see this funding driving further growth, supporting emerging rural companies to develop their ideas.

"With less than a year to go until the fund closes it's critical we hear from any business or community group in Rutland and rural Peterborough that is looking for funding towards ideas that will help their business to grow or diversify."