Thursday, 15 October 2015 08:06

£138m for England's rural communities

Written by  Ruralcity Media
£138m for England's rural communities

RURAL communities are set to benefit from £138m to create more jobs and boost the rural economy.

The LEADER funding will give local communities power to support projects in their own area, said Defra minister George Eustice.

It will build on the government's devolution commitments under its Rural Productivity Plan, he said on Wednesday (14 October).

Projects previously funded include villages benefiting from heritage funding to boost tourism, farm diversification projects and local artisan food producers.

Mr Eustice said: :We want to grow our rural economy, which is why we're making funding available to local communities so they can invest in projects to bring more jobs and enterprise to their areas."

Some 80 Local Action Groups covering 85% of rural England will allocate the money.

Made up of local businesses and voluntary groups, they will kick-start new projects to deliver local jobs and growth.

The LEADER scheme is being managed by the Rural Payments Agency, which will make payments to successful applicants.

RPA chief executive Mark Grimshaw said: "The great thing about the scheme is the level of collaboration between government and local communities.

"We have a common purpose and a strong belief that we can work in partnership to allow the rural economy to grow."

LEADER would  make a real world difference to rural communities, said Mr Grimshaw.

Already hundreds of rural businesses and communities across England have benefited from LEADER funding available through the 2007-2013 Rural Development Programme.

Rural entrepreneurs have used the funding for farm diversification, to boost forestry productivity, promote tourism and support cultural heritage.

For details about LEADER funding in England, click here.

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