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Thu, 05 Oct 2017 3:06pm
East Leicestershire LEADER has reopened for Expressions of Interest

Farms, businesses and community groups are invited to submit bids to the LEADER grant scheme which aims to boost East Leicestershire's rural economy and create jobs.

The scheme reopened for expressions of interest on Monday 25 September

LEADER, part of the European Union's Rural Development Programme, was launched locally in 2015 to support rural business diversify and grow across Melton and Harborough, as well as parts of Charnwood and Blaby. Grants of up to £35,000 are available and in some cases £75,000 could be awarded.

Rupert Harrison, Andrew Granger & Co Surveyors and Chair of the East Leicestershire Local Action Group, said: "Supported by businesses the East Leicestershire LEADER programme is one of the top performing in the region, we have helped numerous businesses to improve and expand their services and products which will ultimately create local jobs, benefit local supply chains and bring visitors to the area."

Pam Posnett, Cabinet Member for environment at Leicestershire County Council and Chair of the Leicestershire Rural Partnership, said: "I want to encourage farms, businesses and communities to apply for a share of this fund. Since opening for applications in 2015 we have supported 13 projects from across East Leicestershire, distributing £300,000 of funding. In the last round of applications which closed in July a further 14 projects have been invited to complete a full application. £500,000 of funding is still available for projects up until March 2019."

K & A Watchorn and Sons Farm in Waltham on the Wolds, was successful in receiving LEADER funding, used the money to purchase farming equipment. Will Watchorn said: "Gaining LEADER funding to purchase a Cattle Handling system has drastically improved our efficiency and improved safety for our cattle."

Applicants have until Friday 1December to make expressions of interest for farm productivity and diversification, small food and drink businesses, small and micro businesses. The call for forestry businesses and community projects increasing access to rural services remains open with no closing date currently set.

More information and expression of interest forms can be found at open-calls.html

Thu, 05 Oct 2017 10:51am
Getting fit for Brexit

1st November 2017

Starts at 5.30pm . Networking 8.00pm

Brooksby Hall. Brooksby Melton College. Melton Mowbray. LE14 2LJ

An opportunity for Leicestershire Farmers to hear from industry experts on - The potential impact of Brexit on the sector - Getting financially fit and reducing reliance on subsidies - Realising your businesses potential from property assets - Accessing funding and grant opportunities

This will be followed by an opportunity to network and a light buffet supper.

This event is supported by: Leicestershire Rural Partnership, National Farmers Union and Andrew Granger & Co Surveyors & Estate Agents


Important Survey for Businesses in Rural Areas
Thu, 10 Aug 2017 11:45am
Important Survey for Businesses in Rural Areas

Rural England is undertaking research on Unlocking the Digital Potential of the UK's Rural Areas. This explores how rural-based businesses currently use digital (online IT and communications), how important it is to their business model, what constraints they face with digital uptake and what economic benefits could accrue if those constraints were overcome.

Digital connectivity, mobile working, Skype meetings and e-commerce have become hugely important to the efficiency and productivity of businesses. Rural England wants to hear from businesses in all sectors, of all sizes, of all types (from PLCs to social enterprises) and of all ages (from start-ups to long-established firms). All survey responses will be treated as confidential by the research team and businesses do not have to complete any survey questions that would identify them.

Responses will be accepted until Friday 1st September 2017. Please go here to respond to survey.

More information about the project, including Rural England's research partner (Scotland's Rural College) and its project funder (Amazon UK) can be found on its website: https://ruralengland.org/unlocking-the-digital-potential-of-rural-areas-research/.

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 10:28am

Call Information Event 12th September 2017, 10.00am - 11:30pm

(Refreshments available from 9.30am and networking to 12.00pm)

Melton Borough Council, Parkside

Station Approach, Melton Mowbray,

Leicestershire, LE13 1GH (http://www.melton.gov.uk/location)

In conjunction with the Rural Payments Agency, the Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership is holding an event for businesses and organisations wishing to apply for grants from the latest round of EUROPEAN AGRICULTURAL FUND for RURAL DEVELOPMENT (EAFRD) Growth Programme.

Two EAFRD calls, each up to the value of almost £1m, have been open locally from January 2017 and they can support projects that relate to:

TOURISM INFRASTRUCTURE; capital investments in the creation of visitor attractions, recreational and small scale infrastructure that will increase visitor spend and attract visitors to stay longer.

FOOD PROCESSINGinvestments that support growth in local food and drink processing businesses and encourage innovation, higher productivity and skills development.

The Rural Payments Agency will be speaking about the national EAFRD Growth Programme and application process and local partners will be providing information on priorities for the calls for Leicestershire and other grant funding opportunities (e.g. LEADER Programme).

There will be scope for interested businesses and stakeholders to discuss in more detail potential projects and making application to the programmes as well as networking with other interested parties.

If you are interested in attending this event, please register at:

REGISTRATION - European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development – Calls Information Event

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 12:12pm
Current East Leicestershire LEADER Call Closing on 24th July

The closing date for Expressions of Interest for the LEADER programme in East Leicestershire is 12pm (Midday) on Monday 24 July 2017 for projects in the following priorities:

  • Tourism – Grant funding between £7,500-£35,000 (anything above refer to EAFRD Growth Programme)
  • Food and drink - Grant funding between £7,500-£35,000 (anything above refer to EAFRD Growth Programme)
  • Support for small and micro businesses (non-agricultural) - Grant funding between £7,500-£75,000

Expressions of Interest for the above priorities can only be accepted until Monday 24 July 2017 at 12pm.

East Leicestershire LEADER will remain open for Expressions of Interest for projects from the following priorities:

  • Forestry - Grant funding between £2,500-£75,000
  • Rural Services - Grant funding between £2,500-£75,000

Additional guidance for applicants can be found on the East Leicestershire LEADER website: open-calls.html

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact the LEADER team via email at: eastleicestershireleader@leics.gov.uk or by telephone on 0116 3056298.

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 10:13am
SHIRE Grant Funding for Carers Projects

An opportunity has presented itself through Leicestershire County Council's Adults & Communities Department, to help community organisations in Leicestershire to provide support to carers.

Additional funding will be administered through the Council's existing SHIRE Community Grants programme, to enable more community-based support to be provided to carers.

A maximum one-off grant of up to £5,000 is available for community projects in the 2017-18 financial year, which can deliver activities to support carers with the following:

  • to feel less isolated and better supported
  • to enable them to continue to undertake caring responsibilities
  • to have a life outside of caring
  • to reduce incidences of carer breakdown
  • to enable carers to have a break from their caring responsibilities

Please note that the existing SHIRE Community Grants Application Process and Guidance Notes will be used for the purposes of applying for grants for such projects.

For more information about how to apply for a grant of up to £5,000 to deliver projects which support carers in Leicestershire, please go to the Leicestershire Communities website.

The next deadline for applications is Monday 31st July, with further deadlines to follow on Monday 25th September and Monday 27th November.

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 1:44pm
Survey of Businesses in Rural Areas

Rural England is undertaking research on Unlocking the Digital Potential of the UK's Rural Areas. This explores how rural-based businesses currently use digital (online IT and communications), how important it is to their business model, what constraints they face with digital uptake and what economic benefits could accrue if those constraints were overcome.

Rural England wants to hear from businesses in all sectors, of all sizes, of all types and of all ages. Owners and managers from rural based businesses across the UK are asked to take part in the survey.

Responses will be accepted until Friday 1st September. Please see the below link to complete the survey:


Mon, 26 Jun 2017 2:06pm
Grants Available for Food Processing and Tourism Infrastructure

In January 2017, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs launched the latest call for funding from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

In Leicestershire, Expressions of Interest are invited from Tourism Infrastructure and Food Processing projects. The aim of the funding is to create jobs and growth in the rural economy.

Details of the eligible activities and who can apply are in the relevant applicant handbooks here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rdpe-growth-programme

The Rural Payments Agency delivers the grants, working with Local Enterprise Partnerships across England. The calls remain open until January 2018, subject to the availability of funds.

Further information is available via:

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 2:23pm
Leicester Business Festival - how to host an amazing event

Businesses across Leicester and Leicestershire are being offered the opportunity to find out how to get the best out of the Leicester Business Festival (LBF) through their events.

Business Festival organiser, Associate Events, is running a free workshop on Thursday 13th July to assist businesses with the event organisation process. This is taking place from 2pm-3.30pm, at Leicester Castle Business School- home to LBF headline partner, DeMontfort University.

Alister De Ternant, Managing Director of Associate Events said, "The workshop is for any business or organisation in Leicester and Leicestershire and is completely free to attend. "We want to people to use this time to come find out more about the Business Festival and how to put on a really useful business event with stimulating, engaging content that will be attractive to the audience and that people will want to attend.

"This is a great chance to ask lots of questions about the process and to get a real understanding of how organisations can get the most out of running events in the Leicester Business Festival."

Scott Knowles, chair of the LBF Steering Group said, "The Leicester Business Festival is now in its third year and going from strength to strength. Already we have had nearly 30 applications to run events of all descriptions, from pop-up MailChimp and data protection workshops to building an active workforce and preparing for the future property letting market.

"However, the application process closes on 31 August and that is why we've set up this event now, to allow time for applications from anyone wanting to run an event but not quite sure of the best way to approach it."

As well as a comprehensive overview of the event process, there will be opportunities for questions as well as one-to-one discussions from 3.30pm.

The event is free and being run on a first come, first served basis. Numbers are limited so registration is essential. Click here or email hello@associate-events.com

This year, the Leicester Business Festival is taking place from 23rd October to 3rd November. More information is available at http://www.leicesterbusinessfestival.com/

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 3:04pm

People from across Leicester and Leicestershire are being invited to sign up for a variety of rural skills courses that aim to improve local greenspaces and wildlife and reconnect people with the natural environment.

Courses on offer include pond wildflower identification, wildlife gardening and dry stone walling, and are aimed at people with little or no experience, or people who want the opportunity to develop and improve their skills. Other courses will be on offer later in the year including hedgelaying and bush craft skills.

Anyone is welcome to attend the courses, with discounts being offered to those who live in a partnership area, which covers Blaby, Charnwood and Hinckley and Bosworth, as well as those on job seekers allowance.

The courses on offer over the summer are:

Wildflower identification: 1 July, Thornton reservoir area. £30/£20*

Learn to identify common British species blooming near the beautiful Thornton reservoir, with some fascinating insights into folklore and traditional uses. This course is accessible for mobility scooters and buggies.

Wildlife gardening: 5 August, Markfield. £30/£20*

Wildlife habitats are declining across the UK, but 18% of our urban landscape is made up of gardens. Learn how to better use yours to encourage wild species - without upsetting the neighbours!

Dry stone walling: 9 and 10 September, The Outwoods, Charnwood. £70/£60*

An introduction to this ancient craft. Attendees will learn how to recognise the different types of stone and their role within the building process of the wall. Taking this forward we will strip down and repair a section of tumbledown wall rebuilding it back to its original state.

For more information visit www.lesswaste.org.uk/events

Booking is essential, so to ensure a spot on any of these courses please contact TCV on 0116 271 0178 or c.forty@tvc.org.uk

*partnership discount applies to anyone living in Blaby, Charnwood or Hinckley and Bosworth district.

Courses are supported by Leicestershire County Council, Blaby District Council, Charnwood Borough Council and Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council.

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