14.12.2015 0 Comments

Support for rural business

Support for rural business

Ngage has secured £5.1 million funding to support farmers, foresters, rural businesses and communities via the Chilterns, Clay Vales and North & West Northamptonshire (N&WN) LEADER programmes.

Grants of up to £100,000 are on offer to support projects that create jobs, help businesses to grow and benefit the rural economy.

The accountable body for the LEADER Programmes, Ngage Solutions is working in partnership with the three 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 covers Aylesbury Vale, rural Milton Keynes and South Northamptonshire. The aims of the programme are to help establish a thriving local rural economy underpinned by a strong tourism offer, high-quality local food businesses and enhanced agricultural and forestry productivity.

The Chilterns LEADER area broadly follows the outline of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), possibly the most heavily visited landscape in the UK with 55 million leisure visits a year. The fund, worth £1.5 million aims to enhance farm productivity, support small and medium sized businesses and farm diversification projects, strengthen rural tourism, culture and heritage, and forestry productivity.

The North & West Northamptonshire (N&WN) LEADER fund is worth £1.87 million and supports rurally-based businesses throughout the county, except for those in the South Northamptonshire district which are covered by the Clay Vales LEADER programme. It is particularly focused on micro and small businesses in rural areas that reflect the rich and diverse cultural heritage of the county. 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, said: “We are delighted that the Clay Vales, Chilterns and North & West Northamptonshire LEADER programmes are now live and we are already working in partnership with our Local Action Groups to deliver them to rural businesses. Most importantly, the experience and knowledge gained through the successful delivery of the 2008-2013 LEADER programme can now be further extended to help grow the rural economy into the future. 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.”

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, read this review here, to find out how they started building their business.

For more information about whether your business may be eligible for a LEADER grant from the Chilterns, Clay Vales or North & West Northamptonshire LEADER programmes, visit http://www.leader-programme.org.uk or call the team on 01494 568970.