Development of the rural economy requires support across a diversity of wide-ranging issues. As a result of this, we support all kinds of projects, as long as they make a lasting difference to the rural economy, people and communities. You could use our funding to start a new business, expand your current business, create new employment, develop new innovative techniques on your farm and much more.
You must be based in a rural area, and to apply to us, be located within the Loddon and Test LEADER area. Please refer to our map to see if you are eligible based on your location.
Your project must contribute to one or more of DEFRA’s SIX national priorities for LEADER, these are;
- Increase farm productivity
- Support micro and small businesses and farm diversification
- Boost rural tourism
- Provide rural services
- Provide cultural and heritage activities
- Increase forestry productivity
We offer a minimum grant of £2,500 and a maximum of £100,000. We ask for you to provide match funding in addition, which will vary depending on the Grant Programme you choose to apply to. Match funding is usually between 20% and 60% (commercial projects are usually expected to provide 60%). We will also expect you to adhere to a grant funding agreement which will be applicable for 5 years from the date of grant payment. For further details see our section on the Application Procedure.
If you are a business, we can only fund SMEs (small, medium sized enterprise – fewer than 250 staff or less than 50 million turnover). The business will be treated as one business if it is linked with one or more other enterprises.
If you have received funding in the past from EU or public sources, you will need to declare this as it may affect the grant amount you can receive.
For further information about eligibility, please choose a grant programme you wish to apply to, each have their own individual eligibility criteria in addition to the above.
For detailed information on the Grant Programmes we offer, including eligibility and examples of projects we fund, please refer to the Grant Programmes section of this website. For a brief overview of all the 7 grant programmes, please download our information sheet here – Our Grant Programmes 2015-2020