Potential £8 million boost for county’s rural businesses

Lincolnshire County Council.
Lincolnshire County Council.
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Funding has been earmarked to offer a helping hand to small rural businesses across Greater Lincolnshire – and it could be as much as £8 million.

Five local area groups have received an indicative allocation of around £8 million from the LEADER programme, which delivers rural development funding from the EU and Defra.

LEADER is still working towards a final agreement with the European Commission, but it is hoped contracts will be signed next spring, after which the programmes can be launched.

North Kesteven and South Kesteven could receive £1.7-£1.9 million.

The funding will be used for projects that support micro and small businesses, increasing farm productivity, farm diversification, tourism, cultural and heritage activity, provision of rural services and forestry productivity.

Following extensive consultation, each local area group has developed a local strategy setting out how their funding will be used and the difference it will make.

Councillor Colin Davie, executive member for economic development, said: “Lincolnshire is a predominantly rural county, and programmes like this are vital for supporting our small businesses.

“Four of these groups have already delivered £6.9 million of LEADER funding during 2007 to 2013, making a real difference to their local area. And I’m sure the new Kestevens local area group will be equally as successful.

“Under the new programme 70 per cent of all projects must directly support jobs and growth. In addition, the remaining 30 per cent will also need to demonstrate their contribution to improving the rural economy. And that’s very welcome news for all of Greater Lincolnshire.”

Details of other current funding opportunities can be found here

Each local area group is made up of members from the private, community and public sectors and represents the social, economic and environmental make-up of the area.

The indicative allocations for the five Greater Lincolnshire groups are:

* Coastal Local Action Group: £1.4m – £1.5m

* Lindsey Local Action Group: £1.9m – £2.1m

* Kestevens Local Action Group: £1.7m – £1.9m

* Northern Lincolnshire Rural Local Action Group: £1.4m – £1.5m

* Wash Fens Local Action Group: £1.6m – £1.7m