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Rural Development Programme awards £436,000 worth of grants

Rural Development Programme awards £436,000 worth of grants

The West of England LEADER programme is now well underway with the Local Action Group having awarded £436,000 worth of funding to a variety of projects across all of its priority sectors.

Through its investment the West of England’s LEADER programme is supporting organisations restoring historic structures, tourism projects, forestry enterprises, farm diversification projects, community shops and dairy farmers.

Commenting on the awards, Graham Clark from CLA in the South West and chair of the Local Action Group said, “We are really pleased to be working with such a diverse range of projects which will help to create and sustain economic and cultural activity across the rural West of England. We would encourage more businesses and community groups to apply for funding.”

Eligible businesses and communities can apply for grants for capital projects to help support their growth and sustainability across North Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Bath & North East Somerset. Applications for investments from £10,000 up to £100,000 can now be made. In most cases match funding of 60% of the project value will be required although you are advised to speak to the programme team for details.

The West of England Local Action Group will be delivering these funds as part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), with the money made available through the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra).

The LEADER programme is primarily designed to promote business growth and stimulate job creation. The programme is focused on rural areas and its priorities are supporting micro and small rural businesses, farm diversification projects, forestry projects, tourism projects, rural services and cultural and heritage projects.

There are two stages to the application process with published cut off dates available on the project website. Applicants are advised to speak to a member of the programme team to ensure eligibility and discuss proposal suitability.

If you are a rural business or community organisation and think this might help you then visit or contact the team to make an initial enquiry.