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SHIRE Community Climate Change Grants
Tue, 16 Oct 2012 8:25am
SHIRE Community Climate Change Grants

SHIRE Community Climate Change Grants are for Parish Councils/Meetings and Town Councils, local community groups, faith groups, charities and village/community building management committees.

They are available for projects in Leicestershire (not Leicester City or Rutland) and can assist with a variety of schemes as long as they help to improve energy efficiency and reduce the potential impacts of climate change.

Applications for 2012/13 are now being accepted. Grant applications must fall into one of the three categories:

1. Energy Audit - 75% up to £1000 and 50% of the cost over £1000

2. Events/Training courses for communities - 50% of the cost up to a maximum of £2,500

3. Practical Installation Projects - Either 20% or 50%*

Individual application forms and accompanying guidelines have been developed for each of these grant categories. Please refer to http://website/climatechange_grants.htm for further information.

Leicestershire Rural Partnership Annual Report 2011-12
Thu, 27 Sep 2012 3:15pm
Leicestershire Rural Partnership Annual Report 2011-12

The Leicestershire Rural Partnership is pleased to announce the publication of its 2011-2012 Annual Report which highlights many of our activities and successes over the past year.

Key achievements and case studies have been included to show the extensive work we have done and continue to do throughout rural Leicestershire.

If you would like to discuss further any of the work areas in the report please contact

Louise Driver, louise.driver@leics.gov.uk, 0116 305 7973 or

Sarah Carter, sarah.carter@leics.gov.uk, 0116 305 8098

and we will be happy to help.

Nominations open for ‘Rural Oscars’
Tue, 25 Sep 2012 8:43am
Nominations open for ‘Rural Oscars’

The Countryside Alliance has opened nominations for its prestigious awards – dubbed in the sector as the 'Rural Oscars' – that honour the best examples of rural businesses.

The awards are a public-nomination led scheme, which run across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Over the years they have honoured thousands of businesses (e.g. Farndon Fields Farm Shop, Market Harborough - Local Food category champion, Midlands, 2011) highlighting the efforts of many rural people for the benefit of their communities.

This year the categories have been slightly altered to provide a platform for the rural start-up businesses trying to get established. The categories for the awards are as follows:

1. Local Food Award

2. TheDailyTelegraphVillageShop/ Post Office Award

3. RuralEnterpriseAward

4. Butcher Award

5. Start-up Award - 'New' in 2012, for businesses who have been trading for less than 18months

Nominate online at www.countrysideallianceawards.org.uk/nomination or if your business would like some paper nomination forms to drum up some support, then email awards@countryside-alliance.org with your address and the quantity you desire.

Thu, 20 Sep 2012 1:19pm

The Rural Network East Midlands (RNEM), part of Defra's Rural and Farming Network, are holding an event looking at Rural Tourism.

Supported by the Leicestershire Rural Partnership and Belvoir Brewery, 'Tourism Matters' is open to anyone with a keen interest in how we can improve the rural tourism offer in our county and support local businesses.

Taking place on the morning of Thursday 4th October at the Belvoir Brewery, Melton Mowbray, the network is keen to generate conversation and debate as to the role of the network in stimulating this important area of economic activity.

Speakers include representatives from Visit England, the Government's Rural Policy Unit and the Northamptonshire Local Enterprise Partnership, plus local case studies. It is free, but places are limited so to book please email Julie Bowers on Jbowers@rcan.org.uk

Please Note: The Rural Network East Midlands exists to ensure that rural areas thrive in terms of their economy, access to services, the environment, affordable housing, farming and related issues around food, climate change and skills and employment. They have regular communications with Defra Ministers and are able to feed in issues and information direct to Government.

Agenda (PDF, 57 Kb)
Leicester and Leicestershire Food Fortnight 2012
Thu, 06 Sep 2012 3:04pm
Leicester and Leicestershire Food Fortnight 2012

Over sixty of Leicestershire's food and drink businesses are getting involved in a programme of events, tastings, demonstrations and special promotions, to celebrate the county's passion for food.

The Leicester and Leicestershire Food Fortnight, which runs from 22 September to 7 October 2012 aims to encourage everyone to shop locally and savour the foods produced within the county – by raising the profile of many of its artisan producers, retailers, café's, pubs and restaurants.

"More businesses than ever before are involved in this year's Food Fortnight and the range of events and special promotions means there is something for everyone to enjoy," says Lesley Pendleton, Chairman of the Leicestershire Rural Partnership. "It is great to see the whole county getting behind this initiative and I hope people enjoy what's on offer."

The launch weekend of this year's Leicester and Leicestershire Food Fortnight includes key events across the county. A Food and Craft Fair with the famous monkeys at Twycross Zoo; a festival dedicated to British pie-makers in Melton Mowbray; a Best of Leicestershire tasting market in the City; a Gourmet Food evening at Hothorpe Hall near Market Harborough; and a food fair in the grounds of Rockingham Castle, are just some of the high profile events to visit over the opening weekend.

During the rest of the Fortnight, foodies can enjoy more highlights, including a competition to re-create one of the county's heritage dishes, the Quorn Bacon Roll; a demonstration and talk by successful cookery book writer Jo Pratt at Scalford Hall near Melton Mowbray; a food festival in Coalville Town Centre and a fete to celebrate the Leicestershire's heritage apples at Donisthorpe.

For people who want to take a more active role there is also a programme of activities and demonstration for all ages. From learning how to brew beer to artisan bread-making classes – this year's Leicester and Leicestershire Food Fortnight aims to get as many people involved as possible.

During the Food Fortnight there will be a competition to find Leicestershire's most dedicated foodie. And what better prize than a pampering day at one of the county's most prestigious health farms – Ragdale Hall – to work off the excesses of all those tastings.

But Leicester and Leicestershire Food Fortnight isn't just about the retailers – the event which is an initiative by the Leicestershire Rural Partnership to raise the profile of the diverse range of food in the region, will be encouraging everyone to get behind the campaign with community events – or even for readers to hold their own Family Feast days or private events at home. Send the organisers information and photos of your food and venue in all its glory and be part of the campaign to enjoy local food.

The Fortnight of events will culminate with the ninth annual East Midlands Food and Drink Festival in Melton Mowbray – on Saturday and Sunday 6/7 October. Held in Melton's thriving Cattle Market area, the festival boasts over 250 stall-holders and attracts around 10,000 visitors each year. Food and drink producers from all over the country will show off their produce in the two-day event, which is now one of the oldest food festivals in the country.

For details of all the events in this year Leicesterand Leicestershire Food Fortnight visit www.goleicestershire.com/foodfortnight2012

For Further Information contact Rachel Dorsett, Silver Pear Communications - 01476 879215

or 07584 166629 Email: rachel@silverpearcommunications.co.uk

Twitter: @foodfortnight

Financial Support for Environmental Improvements to Businesses
Fri, 17 Aug 2012 4:42pm
Financial Support for Environmental Improvements to Businesses

Small to Medium sized businesses in Leicestershire can now get a grant to manage the efficiency of their energy, waste, raw materials and water resources.

£1000 grants are available to businesses to help improve their resource efficiency in the following areas:

  • Energy efficiency measures
  • Renewable technology
  • IS014001 or other Environmental Management System accreditation
  • Energy/environmental training
  • Two-days Specialist consultancy e.g. feasibility study

Or you can access a free on-site survey to highlight any 'no or low cost' measures that can be implemented.

The Improving Your Resource Efficiency service, which is part-financed by the European Union and delivered by Leicester Energy Agency, aims to improve profitability and competiveness.

More information is available on the Leicester City Council website.

New £300,000 funding pot to help rural businesses grow
Mon, 13 Aug 2012 12:54pm
New £300,000 funding pot to help rural businesses grow

A brand new £300,000 funding pot has been launched to help rural businesses branch out.

The Leicestershire County Council funded grants are aimed at small companies who work in the land-based, food and drink, tourism and creative sectors.

Business are urged to bid for the money which is designed to support the rural economy and help create jobs.

The grants will be given out by Leicestershire Rural Partnership (LRP), which aims to improve life for those living and working in rural areas.

A total of £100,000 is available until next April and it is hoped that another £200,000 will be on offer in the next two years.

Lesley Pendleton, Chairman of the LRP, said: "We have a strong track record of boosting the rural economy, most recently through our INSPIRE scheme where we supported over 240 businesses and created or secured almost 70 jobs.

"These are tough economic times and I'm keen to encourage rural businesses to take advantage of these new grants designed to support growth and enhance future investment."

For further information, please download an application form and accompanying guidance notes (http://www.oakleaves.org.uk/rcp.html) or contact Peter McLaren, Policy & Partnerships Officer: Email; peter.mclaren@leics.gov.uk or Tel; 0116 3053910.

Applications are requested by no later than Wednesday, 31st October 2012

Low Carbon Heat Grants to Communities
Wed, 08 Aug 2012 1:22pm

Community groups up and down the nation are able to bid for a share of £8million to install low carbon heating like solar thermal panels, biomass boilers and heat pumps into homes in their local area. Community-based organisations including community co-operatives, voluntary groups, social enterprises and development trusts are eligible to apply.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said:

"Clean green generation at a local level is a key part of our energy future and I hope that communities of all shapes and sizes will get on board and take advantage of all this scheme has to offer."

Phillip Sellwood, CEO at the Energy Saving Trust said:

"Working together can make the process of upgrading to renewable heating easier and more affordable for everyone. This scheme will provide a great opportunity for community groups to prove once again that they can have a real impact in reducing carbon emissions and energy costs in their homes, whilst empowering communities to be more sustainable."

Community groups will need to submit a first stage application to the Energy Saving Trust by 7 September 2012. Applications will be judged on a range of criteria, including the project's vision, potential benefits for the local area, potential partners and any relevant experience of delivering similar projects.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) expects to support between 50 and 100 projects with the £8million fund and will announce the winners in December this year. Please follow the link to find out more http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/pn12_087/pn12_087.aspx

LRP Forum: Retaining our Village Services
Fri, 03 Aug 2012 10:24am
LRP Forum: Retaining our Village Services

How often do you use your local pub, village shop, post office, library?

How important are they to you and your community?

Leicestershire is a beautiful rural county, scattered with villages of all sizes providing a mix of services to a mix of communities. Due to changes in our lifestyle habits, the increase in out of town superstores and reductions in public sector funding - how confident can we be that these services will survive? Is it important? And do we need to take action to ensure that they are still here in 5 or 10 years time?

Join the Leicestershire Rural Partnership to explore these dilemmas and consider what communities and partners can do to reverse the downward trend of village services.

The date: Thursday 27th September

The time: 9:00 – 12:00 (8:30 for coffee and croissants)

The venue: Snibston Discovery Centre

Please e-mail kate.harvey@leics.gov.uk or call 0116 3057016 to register your interest and joining instructions will follow nearer the time.

Communities Minister announces £30m Community Rights funding for local communities
Mon, 16 Jul 2012 2:10pm
Communities Minister announces £30m Community Rights funding for local communities

Andrew Stunell, Communities Minister, announced on Friday 6thJuly that there would be £30m available to help local communities use the Community Rights, including the £11.5 million Community Right to Challenge fund, through a grants programme provided by the Social Investment Business.

The Community Rights are a set of powers, which give you more control over your community. You can now have a say in what happens to important local amenities such as shops, parks and pubs. You can decide what is built in your neighbourhood and how the area should develop. In addition, groups have the chance to deliver local services and develop them into community enterprises. There are four Community Rights:

  • Community Right to Build gives communities the power to build new shops, housing or community facilities without going through the normal planning process.
  • Community Right to Bid gives communities the opportunity to bid to buy and run valued local amenities if they come onto the open market (in effect from autumn 2012).
  • Community Right to Challenge gives local groups the opportunity to express their interest in taking over a local service where they think they can do it differently and better.
  • Neighbourhood Planning powers give people the chance to decide how their local area should develop and what should be built.

The new Rights are contained within the Localism Act that comes into effect this year, devolving power from government to communities, local authorities and individuals. More information is available through the Plain English Guide to the Localism Act or from the act itself - Localism Act.

Communities with good ideas for how they can run local public services and want to use the Community Right to Challenge, can access advice and support to develop their skills to be able to bid for and run excellent local services. For more details visit - www.mycommunityrights.org.uk

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