£1.447m now available to boost rural businesses

30 Nov £1.447m now available to boost rural businesses

A new scheme, aimed at boosting the rural economy across the Forest of Dean and Tewkesbury Borough has officially been launched.

The Forest and Tewkesbury Borough Local Action Group (LAG) have secured £1.447 million of European funding through the LEADER Programme. LEADER is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) and is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

The money will be awarded to micro/small businesses, farmers/foresters, growers, community groups and other organisations that can demonstrate a benefit to the local rural economy. To be successful, applications must contribute to the creation of jobs or the development of businesses in the Forest and Tewkesbury Borough LEADER rural area.

The programme is supported by Forest of Dean District Council and Tewkesbury Borough Council, and is open for applications for projects which meet its key investment priorities. These are farm productivity; business support/farm diversification; tourism; culture and heritage and forestry productivity. Grant amounts can range from £5,000 to £50,000, though the majority of applications are expected to be up to £25,000. Match funding will be required.

Bob Watters, Chairman of the Local Action Group Executive said, “This funding from Europe comes at a time when much needed investment is required for our small businesses and social enterprises, to enable them to expand and to generate new jobs and improved services. The Local Development Strategy, which is driving this investment, was developed by local people and will be delivered by local people who understand the needs of the area. The Local Action Group will work with partners to maximise sustainable growth within the local economy”.

To find out more about the Forest and Tewkesbury Borough LEADER programme, please visit our website www.forestandtewksleader.co.uk or contact the programme team on neil.batt@fdean.gov.uk or 01594 812608.

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