Norfolk hub has �300,000 training grants for rural business

A �300,00 training fund for small rural businesses must be spent by January 2012, according to training specialists at Easton College.

The successful Landskills East training programme, which is based at Easton, can now help enterprises employing less than 10 people.

This funding will cover up to 75pc of the course cost for so-called 'micro' enterprises and could help speciality food businesses, vets, conservation and land managers' organisations and small-scale tourist attractions and pub food retailing regional produce.

Michael Mack, director of Easton's rural enterprise hub, who manages the training programme, said: 'LandSkills East has performed well over its first two years and it is exciting to be able to expand the range of businesses who are able to benefit from the funding.

'Training we have run through the programme has included courses on customer care, technical skills to allow businesses to develop new products, management training and coaching.'

Eligible businesses in eastern England could include businesses processing or adding value to non-food produce, garages, post offices, trades including builders, plumbers, electricians servicing farming and other rural businesses and green technology companies.

Log on to or contact the LandSkills East office on 01603 748844, ext 4.