Rural revival

The Department of Trade and Industry's small business support package, the Phoenix Fund, has helped to "transform" many of the community-based organisations it has funded, it was reported this week.Projects funded by the Development Fund for Rural Renewal (DFRR), set up to support areas disadvantaged as a result of foot and mouth disease, have demonstrated identifiable and potentially sustainable benefits, according to a study. But the report by consultants Social Research Associates, published last week, identifies gaps in business service provision to rural enterprise. The report says: "The number of applications, the quality of submissions, and the determination of a significant number of projects not funded by DFRR to get funding from elsewhere would suggest that there is an unmet need for specifically rural focused business support." Assessment of the Development Fund for Rural Renewal is available from www.sbs.gov.uk.

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