If you run a business in rural Worcestershire, funding is available to boost your business through the Leading Rural Business Programme (LEADER). The deadline for expressions of interest is Friday 19 January.
LEADER is part of the Rural Development Programme for England, and is delivered locally by Worcestershire County Council and the Worcestershire Local Action Group on behalf of Defra.
The focus of the programme is on growing the economies of rural communities by enabling local people to identify and implement solutions to local problems.
Hill Court cattle farm in Pershore recently benefitted from a LEADER grant, which allowed them to purchase new equipment. The farm purchased a Mzuri strip till drill, which will improve soil structure and make considerable savings on diesel per year. The family-run mixed arable and beef farm has around 200 beef cattle, cider fruit orchards and around 500 acres of crops.
Edward Righton, Owner of Hill Court Farm said: "Thanks to LEADER, we will be able to considerably reduce the amount of time and diesel used in the establishment of crops thanks to the new Mzuri strip till drill. We estimate that we will save around £7,000 worth of diesel per year."
Businesses can apply for funding between £2,500 and £50,000. Businesses should demonstrate a benefit to the local rural economy which should contribute to the creation of jobs or the development of business in rural Worcestershire.
There are two further deadlines for expressions of interest in funding later this year – 13 April and 6 July.