The Loddon and Test LEADER Programme will fund and support farming, forestry, tourism, rural services, micro and small enterprises, cultural conservation and heritage. We will support a minimum of 66 projects, creating at least 61 new jobs and benefitting a conservative minimum estimate of 13,000 individuals.
In order to meet our objectives to fund and support growth in the rural economy, the Loddon and Test LEADER programme will ensure than 70% of projects will directly support rural economic growth. We will fund businesses that either increase productivity and/or employment. The remaining 30% will contribute to improving the rural economy, for example through measures such as increasing visitor numbes or improving a rural service.
Through local consultation, an analysis of the area and incorporation of the six national LEADER priorities, we have identified four distinct key local priorities for the Loddon and Test LEADER.
- Local Priority 1: Supporting innovation for a sustainable future for farming, rural economies and communities
- Local Priority 2: Enabling and supporting new and existing rural enterprises and SMEs while benefitting the rural economy and rural community
- Local Priority 3: Boosting the rural tourism economy to benefit local rural communities while enhancing and protecting the landscape, heritage and culture of the area
- Local Priority 4: Improving the financial viability and productivity of forestry through innovation in accessibility and processing, and the development of the market and supply chain.
We also have a cross-cutting priority which aims to promote sustainable working and living in the Loddon and Test LEADER area. This priority will enable rural economies and communities to be more sustainable by encouraging green technologies and sustainable working practices, while benefitting and enhancing the landscape, biodiversity, heritage and culture. All projects are expected to adopt a sustainable approach with equal opportunities and applicants will be expected to demonstrate this within their application to us.
For more detail on our Local Priorities including rationale for intervention, objectives, budget split and measures they fit into, please see the Local Development Strategy, refer to pages 14 to 23.