Rural funding scheme to develop community economy

The government has ended months of uncertainty since the EU referendum by confirming that a key rural EU fund will be supported for at least another two years. 

Nearly £2 million of LEADER grants are available and applications are being considered and approved by the Northumberland Coast and Lowlands LEADER Local Action Group. 

Under the LEADER programme Local Action Groups (LAGs) allocate grant funding to community groups and local businesses to help them carry out projects which create jobs, help businesses to grow and which benefit rural communities.

With the LEADER programme now beginning to deliver real benefit to coastal and lowland Northumberland, the LAG's new chair, Ross Lowrie, is keen to emphasise the opportunity for local groups and businesses to access LEADER grant funding.

He said:  “Since the referendum result we’ve worked hard to secure this valuable rural funding for coastal Northumberland, and it’s fantastic news that we can confirm we’re open for business for at least another two years. 

“If someone has an idea for developing a business, boosting rural tourism, developing farms and woodlands, or improving rural services then we would very much like to hear from them.”

“We are especially keen to receive applications covering culture, heritage, and rural community services.” 

Grants can be offered to projects with eligible costs and anyone with an idea for a project or wanting to find out more about LEADER funding can contact Ivan Hewitt, the Programme Officer, by email or telephone 01670 623927.

The LEADER Programme in Northumberland is supported by Northumberland County Council.

Councillor Allan Hepple, the Council’s Cabinet member for Economic Growth, said: “Growing the economy is this council’s number one corporate priority and this is another source of funding which will provide a great boost to our rural communities.

“We’d encourage any business or community group to get in touch and see how they could benefit.”
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