Rural Businesses and Communities to Get £3.2 Million Funding Boost

Ngage Solutions has been awarded £3.2 million LEADER funding to support farmers, foresters, rural businesses and communities. Grants of up to £50,000 will become available between 2015-2020 to support projects that create jobs, help businesses to grow and benefit the rural economy.

Ngage Solutions will work in partnership with two Local Action Group’s (LAGs) to deliver the funds which are part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), with the money coming via the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra).

The Clay Vales LEADER fund worth £1.72 million will cover Aylesbury Vale, rural Milton Keynes and South Northamptonshire and the Chilterns LEADER area broadly follows the outline of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and is worth £1.5 million.

Philippa Batting, Managing Director of Ngage Solutions says: “In the 2008-2013 LEADER programme 124 projects were awarded funding which in turn sustained 206 jobs, created 117 new jobs and helped launch 39 new businesses.”

David Campbell, Chair of the Clay Vales LEADER LAG says: “This is fantastic news for our rural economy, LEADER funding has proved to be the catalyst to help rural communities thrive in new ways that would not otherwise be possible. We greatly welcome being able to bring the LEADER programme to a wider community in this new phase.”

David Briggs, Chair of Chilterns LEADER LAG says: “We are delighted to have been awarded this new round of funding, especially as we know there is a real need within our local community. Due to the success of the last wave of LEADER funding we have already had expressions of interest from local businesses including farms looking to expand processing capabilities, diversify into farm shops and tea rooms, cycle hubs, tourism projects and forestry activity.”

Daniel Lacey of EJ Lacey & Sons, a LEADER beneficiary in the last round of funding explains: "Before we secured LEADER funding we had been bottling and labelling all of our milk by hand and our hard-working team just couldn’t keep up.” A £40,000 LEADER farm diversification grant enabled the dairy to install a fully mechanised bottling plant and purchase a new refrigerated delivery van to allow for a fourfold increase in home and shop deliveries, as well as increasing supplies to the farm shop.

Defra is still working up the application processes but it is anticipated that LEADER will be open for applications from early summer onwards, with the first grants being paid in early 2016.

For more information about whether a business may be eligible for a LEADER grant and for more information on the Chilterns and Clay Vale LEADER programmes, visit www.leader-programme.org.uk or call the team on 01494 568969.

Ngage Solutions is a not-for-profit organisation with an enviable track record of securing European and UK agency funding to deliver programmes of business support to a broad array of sectors throughout the UK . Ngage develop partnerships, write bids, manage complex funding streams, effectively engage the business community, design and deliver successful marketing campaigns. Ngage have a reputation as an accountable body for efficient, successful and prudent delivery.

Ngage has been delivering business support since 2000 and is tried and trusted by some of the biggest funding bodies and public sector organisations in the South East. Ngage say, "we are passionate about helping businesses to perform effectively".

LEADER is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE). It’s a French acronym which roughly translates as ‘Liaison among Actors in Rural Economic Development’.

A LAG is made up of people from the local community and the local public and private sector.

LAGs decide which projects they will fund in their area. This depends on their priorities but all projects must support one or more of the 6 LEADER priorities. These are to: support micro and small businesses and farm diversification, boost rural tourism, increase farm productivity, increase forestry productivity, provide rural services, provide cultural and heritage activities.

Contact Info:
Name: Lynsey Dunn
Email: Send Email
Organization: Ngage Solutions
Phone: 01494 568975
Website: http://www.ngagesolutions.co.uk/

Release ID: 77757