Rural grant funds available to North Wiltshire businesses

By Anita Jaynes on February 13, 2017

Businesses and organisations in the North West area of Wiltshire have access to around £1.1m of EU ‘Leader’ funding through Vale Action which, over the next few years, is targeted at increasing the number of jobs and improving key parts of our rural economy. This includes businesses operating in the Malmesbury, Cricklade, Bradford on Avon and Melksham areas.

The type of projects that will win backing – typically a contribution of between £5,000 and up to £100,000 at a rate of 40% of total project capital costs – will directly or indirectly increase jobs and the rural economy and will give support for:

-Growing micro and small enterprises
-Increasing farming and forestry productivity and farm diversification
-Rural tourism
-The provision of rural services
-Cultural and heritage activity

Applying for a grant is a competitive two stage process – an Outline Application, which needs to be accepted by the Management Group, followed by a Full Application and further approval by the Management Group. There is also final sign off by DEFRA (the Department of Food, Agriculture and Rural Affairs). Applicants are given full support throughout the process by the project team who have run similar programmes in other parts of Wiltshire.

Previous programmes have shown that ‘Leader’ can make a real difference to the daily lives of people in rural areas. It can play an important role in encouraging innovative responses to old and new rural problems, and become a sort of ‘laboratory’ for building local capabilities and for testing out new ways of meeting the needs of rural communities.

The programme is having an open day on Thursday February 23, 2017 at Bushton and Clyffe Pypard Village Hall, Bushton, Wiltshire SN4 7PX from 10am – 1pm.

The open day aims to promote the programme and explain more about the process applicants will need to follow.

Vale Action is urging anyone interested to come along to the day, to hear more about the grants and discuss whether your project might be eligible.

If you can’t attend that day, you can see more about Vale Action and the application process at: www.plainaction.org.uk/vale-action/vale-action-intro or by emailing: info@plainaction.org.uk