12.06.2013 0 Comments

LEADER rakes the money in to bring rural projects to life

LEADER rakes the money in to bring rural projects to life

The LEADER Programme has been so successful that after spending all of its initial budget on rural projects, more funds have been released to carry on the great work.

The LEADER team, who are supported by Ngage Solutions and Buckinghamshire Business First, have provided invaluable help to over 200 rural businesses and have helped 20 new rural businesses get started and many more to expand. Somewhat frustrated that the European funds had been allocated, the LEADER team continued to work hard to find more cash from Europe and managed to secure an additional £200,000 which has also now been allocated. This money came via the European Agricultural Fund and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

“We were able to persuade DEFRA to fund a few more projects, even after the main budget had ceased. One project, Green Dragon Rare Breeds and Eco Centre, was one that we felt should be considered for approval by the Local Action Group (LAG). Although a new business at a very early stage, it has the potential to employ 12 new staff in a rural area bringing customer service, farming and the environment together under one visitor attraction. LEADER is there to take calculated risk where there is growth potential.” said Nick Phillips Programme Manager.

The owner of the business, Ray Marzec, was delighted with the grant: “I can really get this project under way now. The LEADER grant is going towards the Eco Centre, café and shop, a major aspect of the attraction. I am really excited and can’t wait to open but there is still a good deal of work to happen before that day comes!”

Although this round of funding has been allocated, LEADER and the LAG are here to stay. DEFRA are keen that the expertise gained from years of helping rural businesses remains available in Bucks and the Chilterns and for the next round of funding. Rural businesses are encouraged to keep in touch with LEADER for latest funding news and business advice. Do you have some idea about a blacklisted borrower still got a loan from a trusted lending company? Check out her latest blog about a direct lending company that offers the blacklisted a several type of loans.

Contact the LEADER team: Nick Philips, Programme Manager at nick.phillips@ngagesolutions.co.uk / 01494 568969, or Hannah Sutcliffe, Rural Projects Officer at hannah.sutcliffe@ngagesolutions.co.uk / 01494 568968.