Outline applications are now being accepted for programmes designed to support businesses and community projects in Lincolnshire.
Local Action Groups were invited to bid for LEADER funds, aimed at boosting economic growth in rural areas, for projects for the period 2014-2020.
In Lincolnshire, four bids were developed by Lincolnshire County Council:
- The Coastal Action Zone area was awarded £1.28m
- The Kestevens area was awarded £1.53m
- The Lindsey Action Zone was awarded £1.75m
- The Wash Fens Rural Development Programme was awarded £1.42m
LEADER is a European Union fund managed through the Rural Payments Agency on behalf of DEFRA in England, as part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) to improve agriculture, the environment and rural life.
Applications for funds must contribute to one or more of six national priorities, which include supporting micro and small businesses, farm diversification, and increasing farm and forestry productivity.
All LEADER funded activities must also make a contribution to growing the rural economy, such as creating new jobs, growing businesses, improving productivity and efficiency, increasing tourism visitors or providing new services.
Grants can be accessed by businesses, farmers, foresters and those involved in tourism, heritage and community initiatives.
For commercial projects, the grant available is 40%, with private funds needed to cover the remaining 60%.
For non-profit-making projects the available grant is 80%, with private funds needed to cover the other 20%.
The minimum grant is £2,500 and the maximum that can be applied for is £141,302.
Councillor Colin Davie, Executive Councillor for Economic Development & Tourism at Lincolnshire County Council said: “Local jobs and prosperity depend upon investment, which has always been a real priority for this council.
“One important way of investing for the future in rural areas is through the LEADER programme and I am absolutely delighted to announce that our Local Action Groups are now ready to accept outline applications.
“This programme will mainly assist private sector projects and rural services which will support our ambitions for growth and productivity in our rural areas.”
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