The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) LEADER Programme is a European Union rural funding approach, with grant funds available in Kent from late 2015 to December 2019.
Grants of between £2,500 and £50,000 are available to rural businesses, farmers, foresters, growers, landowners, environmental organisations, cultural, heritage and community providers, as well as voluntary and charitable organisations to develop projects that will assist, strengthen and develop themselves and their local area.
The emphasis of the Programme is on providing Jobs and Growth. To be successful, applications must also contribute to one or more of Defra’s six priorities for LEADER, which are to:
- Increase farm productivity
- Support micro and small businesses and farm diversification
- Boost rural tourism
- Provide rural services
- Provide cultural and heritage activities
- Increase forestry productivity
Kent Downs and Marshes LEADER covers the rural areas of Ashford, Maidstone, Medway, Swale (west of Faversham), and the Romney Marshes. East Kent LEADER covers parts of Swale, Canterbury, Thanet, Dover, Shepway and Ashford.
Each LEADER project has its own set of local priorities:
Kent Downs and Marshes LEADER
- Assist businesses to access the necessary ‘business critical’ infrastructure being developed at LEP and County level and encourage the take up of new technologies to increase productivity and competitiveness for rural businesses.
- Foster a resilient, sustainable and profitable land based sector.
- Support the development of a culture of rural entrepreneurship.
- Strengthen the Visitor Economy in terms of sustainability and performance.
- Foster the entrepreneurial capacity and resilience of rural communities encouraging innovative ways to deliver services.
- Help maintain and protect the landscape as an economic and cultural asset.
- Foster a low carbon economy as a key to preserving the environment.
- Develop opportunities for multifunctional and sustainable woodland management in response to rising energy costs and promote integrated use.
- Optimise and promote the use of local produce to grow the market.
East Kent LEADER
- Enhancing the markets for local food and farming
- Enhancing the markets for local wood and forestry
- Growing the low carbon economy
- Developing social entrepreneurship and micro enterprise for inclusive rural growth
- Making best use of natural and cultural heritage
Deadline: Continuous rolling programme – grants are available until December 2019
For more information and how to apply please click here.
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