Rural business growth fund re-opens

10 Aug 2018

The West of England Rural Development Programme (LEADER) is now OPEN for new expressions of interest until 4 October 2018.  The programme has a limited amount of funding available and grants will be awarded on a competitive basis.  

Overview and process

Projects which will deliver the LEADER aims of providing new jobs and/or economic growth will score more highly in the application appraisal process but all applications which meet any of the LEADER priorities will be considered. The funder is encouraging applications from the forestry sector in particular.

A limited number of grants of between £5000 and £40,000 are available. In most cases match funding of 60% of the total project costs would have to be provided by the applicant. If planning permission or any other permits are required for the project to go ahead this should be in place at the time of submission of the full application. More details of how to apply and the funding criteria are provided on the West of England Rural Development Programme’s website.

If a large number of eligible full applications are received before 12th September 2018 the West of England programme may attract re-distributed funding from other areas. Eligible applications will be considered, and grants potentially awarded, at Local Action Group (LAG) decision making meetings approximately every two months; early applications are encouraged, as the amount of funding still available is expected to decrease following every meeting. The next meeting will be held on the 18th October 2018 and the final decision making meeting (if the fund has not been exhausted before then) will be held on 14th February 2019.

Support for interested businesses

We strongly recommend that you contact the West of England Rural Development Programme team on tel: 01275 333701 or  to check your project could be eligible for funding before submitting an expression of interest. The team can also help you complete your full application. Please note that the office is not open on Fridays.