LEADER is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) and is a French abbreviation which roughly translates to ‘Liaison Among Actors in Rural Economic Development’.
It is expected that the latest LEADER programme will begin towards the end of 2015 and will see eligible businesses benefit from grant funding. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural affairs (Defra) have granted Local Action Groups in Cumbria £5million for the LEADER programme up to the year 2020. To qualify for funding LEADER projects must support one or more of the following priorities:
- farm diversification/small business diversification
- boosting rural tourism
- increasing farm productivity
- increasing forestry productivity
- providing rural services
- providing cultural/heritage activities
Previous projects have been varied but have included things such as conversions of redundant farm buildings, tourist accommodation provision, support for food and drink businesses, water efficiency and timber harvesting.
The current economic climate is having a huge impact on the agricultural and rural sectors with many turning to diversification to generate more income. This begs the question, have you thought about a diversification plan for your business?
Diversifying your business can bring a whole range of other benefits including adaptability, security and the development of new skills. For this reason more and more businesses are taking up the opportunity to diversify by adding new business activities to ensure their future sustainability. If done correctly, and with the right advice, farm diversification can be very rewarding. Diversification is something that is bespoke to each and every business and something that works for you may not be suitable for someone else. So it is vital that your diversification plan is correct, relevant and managed effectively, which is where our team of experts come in! We will help you develop your idea into a strategy by preparing a business plan, seeking any appropriate permissions and researching funding options.
With LEADER funding available from late 2015 onwards there is no better time to start thinking about diversification. Our experts will discuss your idea with you and keep you up-to-date with any funding opportunities as they arise. We will also apply for any funding on your behalf, so you don’t have to. We remove the administrative burden while ensuring you submit the strongest application for your business to maximise your opportunity for funding success.
Contact our team today on 01228 711888 to learn more about the benefits of diversification and the available funding opportunities for your business.