It is an EU requirement that 5% of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) is spent using a bottom-up approach (known as the LEADER approach), whereby local people are empowered to make the decisions which affect their area. As a consequence, LAG’s have been formed up and down the country as part of a grassroots approach to local development.
The Forest and Tewkesbury Borough Local Action Group is made up of local people representing a wide range of sectors including public, private and voluntary sector organisations. The LAG is tasked with identifying valuable projects and activities which can use the funds to create jobs and growth. As part of this process, the LAG will consider applications from wide ranging organisations and make decisions on which projects should be supported at its monthly meetings.
What can we fund?
The LAG has identified opportunities to support the following six rural policy priorities:
Support for increasing farm productivity
Support for micro and small businesses
Support for rural tourism
Provision of rural services
Support for culture and heritage
Support for increasing Forest productivity
(The level of investment for each priority will be based on evidence of need and maximising return on investment)
Micro-enterprise support was identified as the area of highest priority. LAG will be aiming to identify local businesses with the potential to create new jobs and aid business growth. Tourism activities have also been highlighted as a key area for support, particularly in instances where new attractions can be created to help capture increased spend and grow the local economy. Remaining funds will be allocated equally across the four remaining priority areas. The LAG is looking to support activities across all of these measures. Further details can be seen under ‘Apply for Funds’.