Grant funding up to £170,000 available for local rural businesses

We're encouraging rural businesses to apply for LEADER and Growth programme grants.

Capital investments grants range from £5,000 up to approximately £100,000 (LEADER Programme) and £35,000 to £170,000 (Growth Programme). The Growth Programme is for investments that will help grow and develop tourism in rural areas, whilst the LEADER programme is able offer capital support across a wider range of priorities. These are farm productivity; business support/farm diversification; tourism; culture and heritage and forestry productivity.

Successful applicants must contribute to the creation of jobs, growth in businesses or organisations and demonstrate a benefit to the wider economy in rural Gloucestershire.

The LEADER programme has already allocated £515k of grant funding to 20 businesses across the Forest of Dean and Tewkesbury Borough.

Interested parties can find out more by attending a free workshop on Wednesday 24 January from 10am to 12 noon at Vantage Point, Mitcheldean, GL17 0DD.  You can register for tickets to the event here.

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 an opportunity for local rural businesses to get financial support with expansion projects, so I urge anyone with business development plans to act now and get in touch."

For an informal chat contact Neil Batt, Programme Manager on 01594 812608, email or visit the Forest and Tewkesbury Borough LEADER website.

Additional Information

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

The programme was established following a successful bid to Defra in Autumn 2014.

The original £1.7 million of funding was increased to £2.8 million to encourage visitors to spend more time and money in the rural parts of the county.

The programme is open until December 2018 and is open to applications from a wide range of organisations and businesses for farm productivity, business support/farm diversification, tourism, culture and heritage and forestry productivity, which meet the programme’s key investment priorities and are able to create new jobs and contribute towards the economic development of the Forest of Dean and Tewkesbury Borough.

The programme funds projects across a number of priority areas, including farm productivity/ diversification, business development, tourism/heritage, basic services and forestry.


  • 01594 810000