You can apply to your Local Action Group (LAG) for funding for projects that create jobs, help your business to grow, and benefit the rural economy, under the LEADER scheme.

What is Leader?

LEADER funding is delivered via LEADER LAGs and is available to local businesses, communities, farmers, foresters and land managers.

A total of £138 million is available in England between 2015 and 2020 under the scheme. LEADER is part of the RDPE.

What projects are eligible

It depends on your Local Area Group (LAG), and what projects they decide they will fund and which of the following are their local priorities:

  • support micro and small businesses and farm diversification
  • boost rural tourism
  • increase farm productivity
  • increase forestry productivity
  • provide rural services
  • provide cultural and heritage activities

How much grant is available

The normal amount is up to 40% of the eligible project costs. The minimum and maximum thresholds are set by the Local Action Groups, generally speaking, there is a minimum of £2,500 of grant (so your project must be costing £6,250 to get £2,500 back in grant funding). Maximum’s vary but typically are £50,000 – £100,000.

How to apply

  1. Identify whether your fall into an eligible area with funding.
  2. If you do, check their website for more details including their priorities and how to apply
  3. Most LAGs have a two-stage process, involving an Expression of Interest which if endorsed can be followed by a full application.

Contact your local action group

Find your LAG and contact details on the map or in the list. See right for links and the map below.

Farm diversification, diversification ideas, rural business, rural business ideas