RURAL businesses across Test Valley are being urged to apply for another cash boost after more than £200,000 was confirmed as part of an EU grant scheme, it has been revealed.

Now an extra £231,000 cash injection has been made available to businesses and organisations in the borough, who are being encouraged to apply for the grant.

This comes after more than £700,000 in grants have been given to 20 businesses and community projects across Test Valley.

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The Loddon and Test LEADER programme is designed to help fund capital projects that are being undertaken by businesses and community organisations.

The programme offers a minimum grant of £2,500 and a maximum of £100,000, where businesses will have to provide match funding - usually between 20 and 60 percent.

Tourism and economic and development portfolio holder, cllr David Drew, said: “Businesses will need to get their skates on if they want to access this final traunch of LEADER cash, which a good number of firms across Test Valley have already done.

“For those businesses not quite ready to access these funds, I am pushing hard for a follow-on scheme.

"Details will be published if, as and when something new becomes available.”

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The money became available due to the LEADER Programme coming to an end and the funding will have to be spent by the end of the year.

LEADER is an EU Rural Development Programme which operates through action groups, such as Loddon and Test.

The programme covers all of rural Test Valley except for the Romsey area and Bourne Valley.

Businesses can find out more about the programme, and if they are eligible for funding, via