LEADER funding is for small rural businesses and communities, and delivered through Local Action Groups (LAGs). All projects must create jobs or economic growth in the rural economy and support one or more of the 6 national priorities for LEADER.
These are to:
- Support micro and small businesses and farm diversification.
- Boost rural tourism
- Increase farm productivity
- Increase forestry productivity
- Provide rural services
- Support cultural and heritage activities
Not all costs will be eligible for funding. Costs that can’t be funded include salaries, running costs, like for like replacements of existing items, standard computers and standard business software, moveable fittings such as desks and chairs. Please see the Applicant’s Handbook for more information.
LEADER funding is available in rural areas only. Projects located in the urban/built up areas of Boston, Grantham, Lincoln and Spalding are ineligible.
For more information about LEADER visit:
In addition to LEADER funding, the Rural Development Programme for England provides grants to rural businesses through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
There are three calls for activity that are now open for businesses to submit Expressions of Interest and the calls are focused around:
- Food Processing where food & drink businesses that process agricultural and horticultural products are encouraged to apply
- Business Development where small rural businesses – new or existing, which includes farmers who would like to diversify into non-agricultural activity
- Tourism Infrastructure where: If a project is commercial and will make a profit, only small businesses and farmers who want to diversify can apply or if the project won’t make a profit, a wide range of organisations can apply (including public bodies and charities).
All information (including the handbook for each call and EOI application form) will be available on the gov.uk website here.
Please also contact the Rural Payments Agency if you would like to discuss your project/would like any further advice:
Rural Payments helpline: 03000 200 301
Completed EOIs should be e-mailed to: email@example.com