Rural Growth Networks are part of a national programme launched by the Government, aimed at stimulating economic growth in rural businesses and communities. 




RGN CAPITAL GRANTS program is now closed until further notice.                                    

The national Rural Growth Network has specific funding and expertise available for businesses located in rural locations, to help generate rural economic growth. The North East Rural Growth Network is one of five regional growth networks across England, covering Northumberland, Durham and Gateshead.

Between 2012 and 2015 £15 million was allocated nationally, from DEFRA, to support Rural Growth Networks to deliver proposals aimed at helping rural areas overcome barriers to growth, such as poor infrastructure, scarcity of business premises and lack of business networks.

The North East Rural Growth Network delivered a programme of pilot initiatives between 2012-2015, which have been highly successful. With a funding allocation of £3.2m it has helped around 200 new businesses to establish themselves within rural areas; assisted more than 1,000 businesses with either financial support of business advice; created more than 100 new enterprise spaces at 13 business hub sites across the rural North East. 

North East Rural Growth Network Background report 2012

Final Evaluation of the Rural Growth Network Pilot Inititative May 2016


North East Rural Growth Network Case Studies

The Sill 

The Sill is an exciting £14.2 million initiative of international importance that will create a Landscape Discovery Centre and new YHA Youth Hostel at Once Brewed in Northumberland.

Take a closer look at the site as work progresses here (via Northumberland National Park).


Kibblesworth Village Millennium Community Enterprise Hub 

Kibblesworth Village Millennium Centre secured over £40,000 from the Rural Growth Network to support the project, which includes the creation of three iconic enterprise pods within the grounds and conversion of space in the centre building to create further office accommodation, informal business meeting space and toilet facilities. There is a growing demand for business space in this area and the scheme will offer the opportunity for existing businesses to expand or new businesses to locate at the site.  Read more

Following the success of the pilot North East Rural Growth Network programme, a further £6m Local Growth Funding has been allocated to the programme, from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and Central Government through the 'Growth Deal', over a five year period to 2020. The new capital programme aims to support rural businesses and stimulate business growth within the rural areas of Northumberland, Durham and Gateshead.

You can use the map below to determine if your project falls within the Rural Growth Network. The best way to do this is to zoom into your area on the map and if it is within the purple section then it is covered in the Rural Growth Network. If you have any queries please contact a member of the team.

North East Rural Growth Network is a partnership under the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP) and North East Farming and Rural Advisory Network (NEFRAN).
The programme is governed by stakeholders drawn from partners and NEFRAN. Arch hosts the Programme Management Team and delivery. Northumberland County Council performs the accountable body function. 

Click here for Programme Partnership Details
Click here for RGN Structure

This guide will make it easy to find expert help and guidance on specific areas that matter the most to you. All of the information prepared in this guide was correct at the time of printing*.

The aim of this guide is to help you access the information you need to grow your business. This is not designed to answer all of your questions, but to help sign post you, so you know where to look for further information about what might be suitable for your business.

Rural Business Support Guide 2016

*June 2016