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This page contains links to various sources of funding available in rural areas. It is not necessarily a comprehensive list, and you may be able to find other sources of funding or support, for example via your local district council or a charity or business.

Businesses looking for funding should also visit the LLEP Business Gateway for information about business support and funding available:

Community Groups are also advised to visit the Leicestershire Communities Website:

An Alternative Funding document is also available which provides advice on grants and or funding for not for profit community based organisations and charities.

Funding for Rural Communities

  • Village Shop Support Grant

    The Village Shop Grant scheme offers grants of up to £3,000 to enhance Post Offices and village shops selling essential fresh produce and to develop new shops and services including community shops.

  • Post Office Network Transformation Community Branch Fund

    Post Office grants are available for 100% of the costs of works to improve post offices including any ancillary shop or café areas (where no other suitable retailer within half a mile). Free retail advice is also available.

  • SHIRE Community Grant

    The SHIRE Community Grant programme will enable voluntary and community sector organisations (including social enterprises and Town/Parish Councils) to deliver community-based projects, services and activities which directly benefit the most vulnerable people in Leicestershire.

    We are particularly interested in funding new and innovative projects that will:

    • support the most vulnerable individuals and communities in Leicestershire
    • provide early intervention and prevention based solutions
    • complement existing services already being delivered

  • SHIRE Climate Change Grant

    This grant fund is for community projects in Leicestershire that help to improve the energy efficiency of community buildings and make local environmental changes to help reduce carbon emissions.

Rural Development Programme Funding

LEADER

LEADER is a European funding programme which aims to support local economic growth through funding delivered by Local Action Groups (LAGs). LEADER aims to support projects which deliver jobs and growth and which support at least one of the 6 LEADER priorities;

1.Support businesses with less than 50 employees and farm diversification
2.Boost rural tourism
3.Increase farm productivity
4.Increase forestry productivity
5.Provide rural services
6.Provide cultural and heritage activities

There are two LEADER Programmes in Leicestershire. To find out more, please see the following links;

  • North Warwickshire and Hinckley & Bosworth LEADER

    The North Warwickshire and Hinckley & Bosworth LEADER area covers the boroughs of North Warwickshire (excluding small parts of Hartshill) and Hinckley and Bosworth (excluding Hinckley and Burbage).

  • East Leicestershire LEADER

    The East Leicestershire LEADER Programme covers Melton and Harborough districts and small parts of Charnwood and Blaby districts.

RDPE Growth Programme (EAFRD)

The LLEP Growth Programme - also known as EAFRD (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development) - is a European funding stream aimed at developing the rural economy. The funding programme is administered by the Rural Payment Agency.

Business in Leicestershire can now apply in the following categories:

- Food Processing

- Rural Tourism Infrastructure

Further information about the sort of projects that can be funded by the programme, eligibility and how to apply are available via the Rural Payments Agency website - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rdpe-growth-programme

Countryside Productivity Scheme

There is £120m of new offers of funding under the Countryside Productivity (CP) Scheme.

Water Resource Management grants and Improving Forestry Productivity grants are available from (Monday 31st July)..

The Water Resource Management grants are to improve farm and horticultural productivity through more efficient use of water for irrigation, and to secure water supplies for crop irrigation by the construction of on-farm reservoirs.

The Forestry grants are to improve forestry productivity through felling, extraction and adding value by primary processing of timber products.

The minimum grant request in each case is £35,000.

Further information on these offers is available at www.gov.uk/rpa/countryside-productivity-scheme

Other grant schemes are also planned. Later this summer two further large grant offers will be launched. Farmers and growers will be able to apply for grants to improve wider resource management, and farmers and food processors will be able to apply for grants for adding value to agricultural produce.

In the autumn a small capital grants scheme for farmers, growers and foresters will be launched.

Countryside Stewardship Scheme

Countryside Stewardship (CS) provides financial incentives for land managers to look after their environment through activities such as: conserving and restoring wildlife habitats; flood risk management; woodland creation and management; reducing widespread water pollution from agriculture; keeping the character of the countryside; preserving features important to the history of the rural landscape and; encouraging educational access.

This infographic provides some information about the scheme.

For more information, see the Rural Payments Agency Website - https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/countryside-stewardship-get-paid-for-environmental-land-management

Useful Information

Below are links to some local strategy and research documents which may help you in making an application.