New programme leads way on the rural economy

shutterstock.com/Miks Mihails Ignats

Micro and small businesses from across Nottinghamshire have been finding out how they can bid for a share of £3.4m in European funding set to become available in the New Year.

The LEADER Programme is a new allocation of EU funding to help support the development of the rural economy and create new jobs, with schemes covering both north and south Nottinghamshire.

Master class events for potential applicants were held in Retford and Cotgrave last week, with 17 businesses attending. The events saw experts offer one-to-one advice on how to develop projects and complete application forms.

The master classes also gave Programme staff the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of what applicants wanted to fund.

Further classes will be held in January 2016.

Councillor Diana Meale, chair of the Economic Development Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The Master Class events provide a valuable insight into what and what not to include in the application and how to describe the project – which can often be hampered by the use of technical jargon.

“They encourage applicants to look ahead and consider from the outset how they will deliver the project including the impacts on their cash flow and how they may match fund the grant – which on average will contribute up to 40% of the costs of a project.

“I’d urge all businesses who think they may be able to grow their company with the support of LEADER funding to contact the team to check their eligibility and book onto one of these extremely useful events.”

LEADER funding will be available to support a wide range of projects, including rural tourism, supporting new and expanding small and micro businesses and increasing farm productivity.