A new LEADER Programme in Herefordshire will be launched in January 2015 for 6 years subject to a successful bid for funds.
The LEADER Programme aims to encourage strong economic growth and improve the productivity and competitiveness of local businesses in rural areas.
What will the Herefordshire LEADER programme do?
The programme themes are:
- Support for micro and small enterprises, including farm diversification
- Support for rural tourism
- Support for increasing farm productivity
- Support for increasing forestry provision
- Provision of rural services
- Support for cultural and heritage activities
Who can apply?
Project applications will be eligible from:
- Micro and small businesses
- Qualifying micro and small farming and forestry businessess
- Social enterprises
- Voluntary organisations
- Community groups
- Parish councils based in rural Herefordshire
For the purposes of the LEADER programme a micro business has between 0 and 9 employees, whilst a small business has between 10 and 49 employees.
How much funding will be available?
The amount of grant support available may vary across the different themes. Projects may be eligible for between around £500 and £50,000 to fund specific activities.
LEADER funding contributes to around 40% of total project costs. Cash match funding will be needed for around 60% of each project. Projects can be capital, revenue or a combination of both. Training and skills are not eligible for funding.
70% of all projects must directly support the rural economy, through creating and supporting micro and small rural businesses. The remaining 30% of projects will need to demonstrate they are contributing to improving the rural economy.
What outputs could my project achieve?
An output is a measurable assessment of performance and success. Outputs to consider include:
- Jobs created
- Jobs safeguarded
- Businesses benefitting
- Holdings benefitting
- Increased turnover
- Forests/woodlands benefitting
- Villages/communities benefitting
- Population benefitting
- New/existing tourism activities supported
- Potential additional overnight stays
More detailed guidance will be available on output definitions once the new Defra Guidance has been issued. Find further information about the LEADER Programme.