Rural businesses and organisations across south and east Somerset and south Wiltshire are being encouraged to apply for EU grants designed to support the local economy before it’s too late. Due to favourable fluctuations in the exchange rate the Heart of Wessex Local Action Group (LAG) has recently benefited from an additional £200,000 to invest in projects that directly support the rural economy in the LAG area.
So far the LAG has invested over £1.3 million to successful projects, and applicants are encouraged to apply quickly if they wish to be considered for grant support. Sarah Dyke, the Heart of Wessex Programme Manager said “We are delighted that we now have more funding available to support rural businesses in our area and we want to support great project ideas to come forward now”, she added, “funding is not guaranteed and will only be awarded to projects that make the greatest contribution to the local economy and offer best value for money by creating new jobs and increasing productivity”.
Eligible applicants are businesses, farmers, foresters and community groups across the Heart of Wessex LAG with grants starting from £5,000 up to £100,000 with the LEADER programme designed to promote business growth and job creation in rural communities. Projects should support the LAG’s Local Development Strategy and the six National priorities which are: support for increasing farm productivity; support for micro and small enterprises and farm diversification; support for rural tourism; provision for rural services; support for cultural and heritage activity and support for increasing forestry productivity.
The window of opportunity to apply is short however, with all grants likely to be awarded to successful applicants by the end of this year.
Further details about the projects which have been awarded a grant funding can be found on the Heart of Wessex website (www.heartofwessex.co.uk/approved-projects). For more information on LEADER funding and the Heart of Wessex LAG visit www.heartofwessex.co.uk for more information and how to apply.
Alternatively call Sarah on 07826 907361 for an initial chat, she would be happy to hear from you.