A RURAL Business Resilience Fund has been launched for Isle of Wight businesses, by the Solent LEP.

Scroll down to find out how to apply...

Managed by Natural Enterprise, it is aimed at the Isle of Wight economy as the battle against coronavirus continues.

It will provide grants to small and medium-sized rural businesses developing alternative ways of working, delivering products and services.

Now open for applications, grants are available for capital expenditure of up to £2,500.

Isle of Wight County Press:

They must be matched with private funds (50 percent of total costs) and the Solent LEP says the funding will be provided in advance, with full evidence of expenditure having to be provided within three months.

Each funded project must safeguard jobs and must demonstrate how it will benefit the Isle of Wight’s rural economy.

Solent LEP Chief Executive Anne-Marie Mountifield said: "This fund has been created specifically for Island businesses to ensure the Island’s rural economy is in the best shape possible during this period and crucially as we come out the other side.

"The LEP is working with a number of organisations to bring as many initiatives as possible to help the businesses which make our economy thrive, feel supported and encouraged during this unprecedented time."

Graham Biss, Managing Director from Natural Enterprise said: "We are grateful to the Solent LEP for this additional support for the Island’s rural business sector at such a challenging time.

"The application process for this new Fund has been streamlined to ensure these monies can be easily applied for and quickly received”

CLICK HERE to apply or visit the Solent LEP's website for more details.

UPDATE, 3pm: Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely has welcomed the money and stressed the importance of organisations working together.

He said: "I welcome the new Rural Business Resilience Fund created specifically for IW businesses by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership. 

"I would like to thank everyone involved, including Natural Enterprise for managing the fund, for getting this up and running to support small and medium-sized businesses on the Island. 

"It is important to see organisations working together taking a proactive approach to protect jobs on the Island during the Coronavirus period.”