If you are working on a project or a business model that could help improve the local environment you could get a share of over £300,000 that’s now up for grabs.
Over the last few years the Environment department has dished out more than £2 million to help get local environmental projects and businesses off the ground.
Its Countryside Enhancement Scheme (CES) has helped fund a number of big projects over the years including Jersey Trees for Life's wildlife corridors and the Jersey Biological Records Centre as well as smaller schemes to create ponds and wildlife habitats.
There's always competition for funding from the Rural Initiative Scheme (RIS) designed to pump prime rural business development not surprisingly given it can help cover almost half the cost of your business venture.
It supports rural and marine businesses diversify, improve efficiency and lower their carbon footprint and over the past eight years has helped growers convert to organic farming, helped fund bulb sterilizing equipment to keep daffodils free from disease and boosted local apple juice and cider production.
The success of each project can't be assessed until Islanders' business plans have been implemented for three years but the department's Rural Economy Manager John Jackson said 43 of the 47 businesses supported over the three year period from 2006, the year the scheme was first introduced, are still going strong today.
He said turnover of the 47 supported projects increased over three years from £22 m to £30 m (up 35%), employment costs rose from £ 5.5 m to £ 7.4 m (up 35%) and profitability increased from £573 k to £1.33 m (up 132%).
Mr Jackson said: “The CES and RIS are key parts of the Rural Economy Strategy 2011 – 2015 through which the States demonstrates its commitment to the importance of the natural and farmed environment and the rural industries which have created and manage the Island’s diverse countryside.
“The CES provides financial support for environmental improvement projects which seek to help, support and protect the Island’s unique wildlife, habitats and landscapes. The RIS aims to assist entrepreneurs in the rural sector to start new enterprises, improve production efficiency and product quality, generate and improve energy efficiency, add value to local products and identify and research new opportunities and markets.
“These schemes have had a beneficial effect on the rural environment and in diversifying and improving the efficiency of rural businesses and I recommend their uptake to those in the rural sector.”
Application forms and guidelines can be downloaded here:
Islanders have until Friday 16 January next year to get their applications in for the CES grant and until Friday 23 January to apply for the RIS grant.
Applications need to be sent to Scheme Administrator at Rural Economy, Howard Davis Farm, Trinity, JE3 5JP.
Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.
Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.
There are no comments for this article.