A total of £138 million in LEADER funding is available to rural businesses across England between 2015 and 2020, but the grants are not being applied for due to lack of awareness and lack of initial finance for projects that LEADER funding aims to reimburse, according to Ian Bell OBE, Head of Farm & Rural Engagement for small business of the year FOLK2FOLK.
LEADER funding is one of a number of grants and funds available to local businesses, communities, farmers, foresters and land managers seeking funding for projects that create jobs, help businesses grow, and benefit the rural economy. Grants range from £5,000 to £100,000 and application is via Local Action Groups (LAGs). In partnership with FOLK2FOLK, Cornwall LAGs, LEADER and Growth Fund are hosting two events this month to help local, rural businesses, farmers and landowners learn more about the funding options available to them.
Ian Bell OBE, Head of Farm and Rural Engagement, FOLK2FOLK: “Resilience is key in any business and vital as we prepare for Brexit. LEADER funding creates a huge opportunity to improve efficiency and strengthen the core farming business. Farmers and business owners have an opportunity to increase the income stream through diversification. It’s a simple case of use it or lose it.
“However, there is a huge barrier to potential grant recipients. LEADER funding can only be claimed in arrears. Applicants must be able to pay for their project initially, as grant payments will only be made once the work being claimed for has been completed and paid for.
“This leaves a gap where potential recipients with fantastic projects are unable to apply for the grant because they can’t pay for the project upfront, and this is where FOLK2FOLK may be able to assist.”
The Cornish peer-to-peer lending company may be able to assist potential grant recipients by providing access to the required funding for them to complete their project, enabling them to apply for LEADER funding.
- 26th June – Cornish Charcuterie, Bude 17:30 – 20:00
- 27th June – Tamar Valley Centre, Gunnislake 17:30 – 20:00
Booking is essential to secure a place, please RSVP via the links above.