LEADER Programme: Following the 2015 launch of Defra’s new Rural Development Programme England (RDPE), 2016 looks like being a big year for the new LEADER Programme.

This programme operates differently under the RDPE family of grant funding with almost all rural areas in England covered by one of the 80 local LEADER groups, which are operating this scheme. The total budget for the 2016 England LEADER Programme is £138 million.

Below are some of the key facts about the LEADER Programme. However, be aware that these do vary depending in which area your business is based in.

LEADER Programme key facts (most areas):

Amount:         Up to £40,000 grant (can be £100K in some areas)

Grant Rate:     Max 40% grant

Process:          A two stage application process – outline and full application

Time:              Approximately 4 months from outline to final decision

What:              Capital items

Programme themes include:

  • 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

Each of the local LEADER Groups will set local priorities for each of these themes.

Growth Programme: Please note, that we are also expecting new calls under the Growth Programme to be announced in the first quarter of 2016. This fund offers larger grants of up to £145,000 at 40%. So, if your project is too big or not eligible under the LEADER Programme then the Growth Programme may be a better option.

So, if you want specific help and guidance with identifying the best funding option for your project then please contact us.

Contact Rick Patterson – Westley lead grants, funding & project Development

Tel: 07852 777668

Email: [email protected]