European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)

European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)

SELEP launched the call for applications under the EAFRD programme for the SELEP area in London on the 2nd February 2017. This is a rolling call and Expressions of Interest (EIO) can be submitted to the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) as and when they are ready.

The call for applications focuses on:

  • Rural tourism
  • Food processing
  • Business development (micro and SMEs)

The closing date for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) has been extended to 31 May 2018 and the new completion date for projects is now 31 December 2020. This gives rural businesses in the SELEP area longer to work on their applications for funding, creating new business growth and jobs in rural areas.

The EOIs will be assessed by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) team and eligible projects will be submitted to the SELEP ESIF Committee for a view on the strategic fit and also their value for money. Successful projects will then progress to full application with support from the RPA. Applications will need to refer to the sub-measure handbooks for the specific sub-measure call, SELEP ESIF Strategy and the SELEP Rural Strategy. See links on the right hand side of this page. All successful applications will be expected to create Jobs and Growth in rural areas.

The focus of EAFRD in the SELEP ESIF Strategy is:

  • Provide support for rural businesses
  • Optimise the growth and development of the Agrifood sector
  • Support the development of sustainable rural tourism
  • Support development and provision of enhanced levels of connectivity (not including Broadband)
  • Support development of a more efficient low carbon and sustainable rural economy

The Government is seeking links between the EU funds and also between the various national funding streams such as the Regional Growth Funds (RGF) and Growing Places Fund (GPF). Further details can be found on the Government’s website under Funding Finder at, including the full application forms.

SELEP has been given one of the largest EAFRD allocations in the Growth Programme - £14.5m for the period 2014-2020. The RDPE Operational Programme was agreed with the European Commission in 2015. The Programme document can be found here.

The EAFRD component of the Growth Programme is only a very small fraction (5%) of all funding available through the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), which also includes investment in environmental and land management schemes, LEADER and Countryside Productivity.

For more information on all RDPE supported programmes, click here

For awarding funding under the EAFRD programme, the Rural Payment Agency (RPA) will manage the process for publishing calls and administering applications.

For further information please contact:

Lorraine George SELEP’s EU Strategic Funding Lead -

Stuart Gibbons SELEP’s Rural Consultant -