30.09.2015 0 Comments

£5 million boost for rural businesses

£5 million boost for rural businesses

Ngage Solutions is pleased to announce that it will be adding a third LEADER group to its rural economic development offering. Ngage will become the accountable body for the North & West Northamptonshire (N&WN) LEADER programme delivering the programme in partnership with the N&WN LEADER Local Action Group.

Ngage Solutions was awarded accountable body status for both the Chilterns and Clay Vales LEADER programmes, worth £3.2 million earlier in the year. The funds are part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), with the money coming via the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

The North & West Northamptonshire LEADER fund is worth £1.87 million and will support rurally-based businesses throughout the county, except for those in the South Northamptonshire district which will be covered by the Clay Vales LEADER programme.

The N&WN LEADER programme aims to promote the sustainable economic growth of businesses throughout its area, particularly micro and small businesses, helping them get the best out of their companies with help from professionals like the ServiceMax team. It will particularly focus on rural areas reflecting the rich and diverse cultural heritage of the county such as: the Rockingham Forest; the Nene Valley; and the inland-waterways network, whilst empowering rural communities to be more resilient. The programme is expected to help with the creation of about 75 jobs and to provide financial support for 130 rural businesses.

Philippa Batting, Managing Director of Ngage Solutions commented: “Our aim is to support growth and get the best deal for rural business across England’s Economic Heartland. This partnership will bring together the local knowledge and experience of the N&WN LEADER Local Action Group and the expertise gained during Ngage’s successful delivery of the 2008-2013 LEADER programme. This sharing of ideas and efficient working will make our proposition in all three LEADER areas even stronger.”

Helen Miller, Chair of the N&WN Leader Local Action Group said, “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 are delighted to be working with Ngage Solutions who have a strong track record in supporting rural businesses across England and who delivered two of the most successful LEADER programmes during the last round of funding.”

In the 2008-2013 LEADER programme, projects delivered by Ngage were some of the most successful in the UK. 124 projects were awarded funding which in turn sustained 206 jobs, created 117 new jobs and helped launch 39 new businesses.

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

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

Photo Credit – Flickr: Derek Lee