Launched in April 2016 LEADER is an EU funded grant scheme for projects which benefit the rural economy. Following the result of Brexit, LEADER funding has been given the green light to “remain” until the UK formally leaves the EU, but you need to act fast to secure the funding. Miller & Miller, Rural Chartered Surveyors looks at how LEADER could benefit you.
The East Peak LEADER programme has an approved budget of £1.347 over 5 years. Do you need additional income? Why not consider a diversification project which could attract up to 40% grant?
So what is LEADER?
The emphasis of LEADER is on economic growth and job creation within rural areas. Its primary purpose is to fund farmers, growers, foresters and other rural businesses and community organisations, enabling them to develop businesses, create jobs and otherwise support the rural economy.
The LEADER Scheme is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) and is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) manages the scheme and makes the payments. A Local Action Group (LAG) is made up of local private, public and civil representatives who work together to fund projects which help to improve their local rural economy. Through LEADER money is allocated to LAGs to award as grants to qualifying businesses and organisations in their area.
There are 6 priorities for LEADER. Successful applications must contribute to one or more of these aims:
1. Increase farm productivity
2. Support micro and small businesses and farm diversification
3. Boost rural tourism
4. Provide rural services
5. Provide cultural and heritage activities
6. Increase forest productivity
The scope of projects which can apply for LEADER under the 6 priority areas is wide and applications are determined on a case by case basis. So; whether you are looking to diversify your farm, set up a festival, go into glamping, open a farm shop, develop a craft, create a cycling network, or introduce more innovative technology into your existing business; Miller & Miller, Chartered Surveyors, Land Agents and Agricultural Valuers are here to help you with the application.
The grant is through LAGs which cover different areas of the country. East Peak Innovation Partnership (EPIP) covers Penistone, Stocksbridge, Ecclesfield, Bradfield, Denby Dale, Kirkburton and South West Wakefield. Bolsover North East Derbyshire covers the wards within this district, with exception to its urban areas.
The grant size awarded by LAGs will depend on the type of project, the size of the business and the costs involved (bearing in mind that not all the costs of a project may qualify for funding). Applications must be for at least £5,000 and a maximum grant amount of £40,000.
In EPIP grants for the six prioritised areas for application are:
Equipment and machinery
- The construction, acquisition, improvement, restoration or conversion of buildings
- General costs such as architect, engineer and consultation fees (up to 15% of the projects total eligible costs) and other short term salaries associated with the development process
- processing and marketing (excluding hard copy material)
- intangible investments such as computer software
- acquisition of patents, licenses, copywrites and trademarks
- capital costs in supporting events, festivals, cultural and community activities
- enhancing, restoring and upgrading built, cultural and natural heritage including landscapes and valuable nature sites
- feasibility studies and construction of renewable energy production plant and distribution
If you are looking to expand, improve or start up a new business in any of the 6 priority areas than LEADER funding could be available to you.
Contact Miller & Miller, Rural Surveyors today to see if you could qualify – not all eligible applications to LEADER will receive funding and it operates both through ‘first-come-first-serve’ basis – so don’t delay!