Significant grant funding available for local rural businesses

The Forest of Dean District Council is keen to support the efforts of the LEADER programme as they call out for new applications for rural business grants.

Capital investment grants of up to £100,000 (up to 40% of total costs) are available now for micro/small businesses, farmers/foresters, growers, community groups and other organisations that can demonstrate a benefit to the local rural economy. To be successful, applications must contribute to the creation of jobs or the development of businesses in the Forest of Dean district LEADER rural area.

The programme is open for applications from projects which meet its key investment priorities. These are farm productivity; business support/farm diversification; tourism; culture and heritage and forestry productivity.

LEADER is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) and is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

The LEADER programme has already allocated £370k of grant funding to 17 businesses across the Forest of Dean and Tewkesbury Borough.

Trioscape Garden Centre in Highleadon was recently granted £38,971 for the expansion of its popular dining facilities. This will result in five new jobs, whilst helping the business to grow to a new level.

The programme is now looking for further applications. Funding is available on a first come first served basis. The deadline for expressions of interest is 10am on 9 October 2017.

Bob Watters, Chair of Forest and Tewkesbury Borough LEADER Programme said: “We want to see funding allocated to projects that will boost the local economy and bring employment to the district.  We urge people to contact us as soon as possible and apply for a share of the funding to help grow your business or organisation.”

Councillor Julia Gooch, Cabinet Member for Town Centres, Business Support and Jobs added: "This is a 'once only' opportunity for local rural businesses to get financial support with expansion projects, but the time-frame is very short, and the total funding available is limited, so I urge anyone with business development plans to act now and get in touch."

If you are thinking of applying to the LEADER programme, contact Neil Batt, Programme Manager, as soon as possible on 01594 812608 or email to avoid missing out. Further details and application forms are also available on the website


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