Rural businesses in Suffolk and Norfolk now have the opportunity to apply for grant funding from the LEADER programme, to support initiatives like rural tourism and forestry production.
Provided by the EU’s Rural Development Programme England (RDPE) and the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the New Anglia Growth Hub estimates that grants will start at £2,500. The average grant award is expected to be between £20,000 and £25,000.
Running until 2020, LEADER cash will support:
- Micro and small businesses (fewer than 50 employees)
- Farm diversification and increased productivity
- Rural tourism
- Increased forestry productivity
- Provision of rural services
- Cultural and heritage activity
Also, the majority of grants must lead to the creation of new jobs and the money needs to contribute up to 40% towards any project (with exceptions for special circumstances).
How to apply
Firstly, businesses submit an outline application form, and if successful, they’re asked to complete a full application. This will be reviewed by Local Action Groups (LAG), made up of representatives from the public, private and voluntary sectors, every quarter.
Check you're eligible
Use the postcode checker and maps to see if your business is in an eligible area, since not all of Suffolk and Norfolk is covered by the funding.
Norfolk businesses – go here.
Suffolk businesses – go here.
East of England business loans are also available from other lenders, including New Anglia LEP and Fleximize.