Rural Growth Network

This Programme is now closed, for the latest grants & loans information see 'Business grants Loans & finance

Warwickshire is one of just five Rural Growth Network (RGN) pilots in the country. We offer a flexible package of advice and support to rural businesses in any sector and people looking to start their own business.

With drop-in clinics, specialist advice, one-to-one mentoring, coaching, loans, grant funding and property, you’ll find the support you need to set up your business and help it grow.

Warwickshire County Council is leading the RGN on behalf of Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership and the services or projects are delivered by a range of specialist organisations and partners.

For examples of companies helped by the RGN, please look at these case studies.

Starting a business

If you’re looking to start your own business or have been trading for less than a year, then let us help you.

We have an extensive network of coaches based in Warwickshire who have successfully set up their own business and now advise other entrepreneurs. You’ll be matched with an expert who understands your business and, in particular, the distinct challenges which rural businesses face. We also offer a series of courses on start-up skills and specialist support for female entrepreneurs.

Growing your Business

Many business leaders have benefited from having an experienced coach to help them on their growth journey.

Our business coaches can assist you facilitate growth and help you overcome barriers. Our coach will work with you to assess your business potential and create a bespoke action plan to help you achieve sustainable growth through specialised coaching and mentoring. You’ll be matched with an expert who understands your business and, in particular, the distinct challenges which rural businesses face. You’ll also get the opportunity to network with other businesses facing the same issues. For female business leaders, we’ll give you the chance to network with like-minded business women and benefit from their unique experiences of growing successful businesses.

New sessions of our business workshops are now taking place – please have a look at the programme below.

These workshops are free of charge to all individuals/businesses engaged with the Rural Growth Network programme and they form part of the service we provide. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about a particular business subject, meet other entrepreneurs and network. Please get in touch to find out more about our business support programme.

Access to Finance

Looking for finance? Our specialist advisors can help you find the right finance for your business, whether that’s a grant, a loan or equity funding, and work with you to submit business plans or applications. We also provide small business loans and offer grants to small enterprises with plans for growth. This could include a grant or loan from the Warwickshire County Council Growth Fund.

Further details available on the Business Grants, Loans & Finance page

Helping your Business Innovate

Developing an innovative product, service or process? Will you be spending £3,000 to £12,500 on it externally? Are you working with another business who will donate time or goods to the project? If so, then you may be eligible for a grant from the new RGN “Funding 4 Innovation” project. Revenue and capital grants of up to £5,000 are available to assist with product development or expenditure on equipment, machinery or tooling.

Thinking of Electric Vehicles?

The ‘Warwickshire Rural Electric Vehicle’ project can help you examine the case for electric vehicles (EVs) in your business. We offer a free feasibility study which will provide a financial, technical and infrastructure cost analysis of electric vehicles; grant support towards the lease costs of an electric car or van; installation of a free charging point on your premises; and 12 months project monitoring and support. Please contact us to register your interest. The number of places are limited and terms & conditions apply.

Locating your Business

The  Rural Innovation Centre at Stoneleigh Park is a new suite of 16 offices designed to provide a secure, stress-free space for start up and small businesses. The offices are available on flexible, short-term leases. They are fully managed and serviced and have superfast broadband installed so tenants can move in and start work straight away. Hot-desking facilities, virtual offices and a conference room in a beautiful rural setting are available. The range of specialist organisations and partners are also on-site to provide advice and support to tenants. The Rural Innovation Centre has been funded by Defra in a unique partnership with LaSalle Investment Management. It is also linked with other centres in north and south Warwickshire. You can also search the property database on the Invest in Warwickshire web site.

Events and Workshops

Warwickshire Rural Hub is running a programme of topical events and workshops for rural businesses. Some of the workshops are also organised with the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce. Contact us to find out more.

What is a Rural Growth Network?

The Rural Growth Network  initiative is part of a package of measures announced in the Government’s Rural Economy Growth Review. It was launched in late 2011 with a competition for local enterprise partnerships and local authorities to apply to become pilot areas designed to test different ways of encouraging economic growth in rural areas. Warwickshire is one just five pilots nationally. The others are in Cumbria, Devon & Somerset, Durham & Northumberland, and Swindon & Wiltshire. Coventry and Warwickshire’s funding was confirmed in October 2012 and formally announced during a visit to Stoneleigh Park by the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food, David Heath MP.

Our Funders

The Warwickshire Rural Growth Network is funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Rural Development Programme for England which is part financed by the  European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, the Government Equalities Office and Warwickshire County Council. Warwickshire County Council is leading the Warwickshire RGN on behalf of Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership.