The New Forest LEADER Programme is re-opening to new Expressions of Interest (the first stage in the application process) –initially until 28 Feb 2019 or until remaining funding is allocated, whichever is sooner.
The EU’s New Forest LEADER grants can be used to fund investment in certain types of buildings, equipment and machinery to help small businesses grow and/or create jobs.
However there is now very limited grant budget still available, so businesses are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
LEADER can grant fund up to 40% of the investment cost (for commercial projects) up to a maximum grant amount of £75,000. The minimum grant amount you can apply for is £5,000. Applications must be approved before the project can start.
Examples of the types of project LEADER can fund include:
• Investment in technology to improve the performance and sustainability of an agricultural/horticultural or forestry holding;
• Construction or conversion of buildings, or the purchase of machinery and equipment, to help small businesses in rural areas to grow or offer new services or products;
• Investment in equipment, technologies or processes to save resources or reduce waste;
• Investment to develop culture, leisure, heritage, visitor activities or attractions
• Investment to develop farm diversification activities;
• Investment in businesses or not for profit organisations which provide services for rural communities i.e. rural retailers, transport etc.