Even more funding available for projects in rural Oxfordshire

Released on July 26, 2017

Farmers, foresters, businesses and community groups in rural Oxfordshire can now apply for even more grant funding for projects which support the local economy.

Individual projects can now apply for up to £100,000 funding from Oxfordshire LEADER and, under exceptional circumstances, they may qualify for even more money.  
 
The scheme aims to support a wide range of rural activities including: farm productivity and diversification, forestry productivity, tourism, community services, heritage and culture and small business development.
 
Oxfordshire LEADER would particularly welcome applications that will revive local waterways, support local food markets, create vibrant villages, or unlock the potential of woodlands.
 
To find out if your project could qualify for this funding visit www.oxfordshireleader.org.uk This link will take you to an external website... .  All grants must be allocated by March 2019, so don't delay in finding out more. 
 
You can also find out more at the Oxfordshire LEADER information event on Tuesday 22 August at Faringdon Old Town Hall (SN7 7HL) – drop in any time from 10am until midday.
 
The Oxfordshire LEADER Programme is open to applicants until March 2019. Anyone with a viable idea is being urged to contact Oxfordshire LEADER Programme Manager Sophie Milton by calling 01235 422245 or via oxfordshire.leader@southandvale.gov.uk This link will take you to an external website...
 
Elizabeth Gillespie, Chairman of the Oxfordshire Local Action Group said: “We know there are lots of projects across Oxfordshire which could benefit from this funding and support our local communities.  To ensure we support as wide a variety of projects as possible we’ve increased the amount that individual schemes can apply for to £100,000, with even more money available in exceptional circumstances. 
 
“We’ve got £1.5 million available but this must be allocated by March 2019 so I urge anyone with a viable scheme to get in touch and start the application process as soon as possible.”
 
ENDS
 
Money for the Oxfordshire LEADER Programme comes from DEFRA's Rural Development Programme for England and is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
 
The Oxfordshire LEADER Programme is being administered by South Oxfordshire District Council on behalf of Vale of White Horse, Cherwell and West Oxfordshire District Councils.   South Oxfordshire District Council previously oversaw the successful Southern Oxfordshire LEADER Programme between 2008 and 2013 which saw a total of 61 wide ranging projects receive a share of £1.2million in grants.  These included a microbrewery in an old farm building, a cold store for turkey and goose sales, moorings by the River Thames and new village shops.  These projects also attracted more than £2.5million grants from the private sector and other funding. 
 
Local LEADER areas are limited to a maximum population of 150,000; however, other parts of Oxfordshire are covered by the Cotswolds, North Wessex Downs and Chilterns LEADER grant programmes. Details can be found at http://www.oxfordshireleader.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Oxfordshire-LEADER-Map.pdf This link will take you to an external website...
 
There are some rural areas in north Oxfordshire which do not fall into a LEADER area.
There is another Rural Development Programme for England fund called the Growth Programme which is available in those areas. There are also grants to boost the local economy with a focus on tourism, food processing and business development. To find out about this programme visit the government website: http://www.oxfordshirelep.com/content/new-funding-opportunities-rural-businesses-oxfordshire This link will take you to an external website...