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Agriculture: South West Region

Volume 465: debated on Wednesday 24 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will increase the funding of the South West Rural Enterprise Gateway to help farmers diversify. (159328)

The South West Rural Enterprise Gateway has received DEFRA funding under the England Rural Development programme and Objective One of the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (the latter specifically for its activities in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly). This funding was to support the development of farm and rural businesses, including skills acquisition.

Future support in the region under the Rural Development programme for England will be delivered by the South West of England Regional Development Agency. The Agency is working with the Enterprise Gateway on plans to take forward its delivery responsibilities for the new programme, which will include support for farm diversification and other rural business development activities. The precise level of funding will be a matter for the South West of England Regional Development Agency.