Grant funding for rural Gloucestershire

Rural businesses are being encouraged to apply for LEADER and Growth programme grants in Gloucestershire.

Capital investments grants range from £5,000 to about £100,000 (LEADER programme) and from £35,000 to £170,000 (Growth Programme).

The LEADER programme offers capital support for farm productivity; business support/farm diversification; tourism; culture and heritage and forestry productivity.

The Growth Programme is for investments to help grow and develop rural tourism.

    Wider economy

Successful applicants must contribute to the creation of jobs, growth in businesses or organisations and demonstrate a benefit to the wider economy in rural Gloucestershire.

The LEADER programme has already allocated £515k of grant funding to 20 businesses across the Forest of Dean and Tewkesbury Borough.

Bob Watters, chairman of the Forest and Tewkesbury Borough LEADER Programme urged people to get in touch and apply for a share of the funding.

He said: “We want to see funding allocated to projects that will boost the local economy and bring employment to the district.”

The LEADER scheme is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) and is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

    Successful bid

The programme was established following a successful bid to Defra in Autumn 2014.

The original £1.7 million of funding was increased to £2.8 million to encourage visitors to spend more time and money in the rural parts of the county.

The programme is open until December 2018

Interested parties can find out more by attending a free workshop on Wednesday 24 January at Vantage Point, Mitcheldean, GL17 0DD.

For details, call programme manager Neil Batt on 01594 812608 or visit


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