Amy Thomas – North York Moors, Coast and Hills LEADER Programme Manager
It’s great to be able to start a new year with some good news – so we are very pleased to say that the North York Moors, Coast and Hills LEADER Programme is now open for business again.
LEADER funding is for projects that create jobs and help businesses grow and which therefore benefit the rural economy.
Between now and September 2018 the LEADER Programme in the North York Moors, Coast and Hills area is looking to support applications for projects or activity under the following four priorities:
- Farm Productivity;
- Micro and Small Business & Farm Diversification;
- Rural Tourism; and
- Forestry Productivity.
As an important and significant economic sector in the wider North York Moors area, the Programme wants to support the agricultural sector to grow and become more profitable. Applications under this priority need to help improve your farms productivity. Examples of potential activities include:
- The purchase of equipment to improve the efficiency of use of water, energy, fertilizer, and animal feeds such as LED lighting in livestock sheds,
specialist drills and crop robotics;
- Support for businesses which process, market or develop agricultural products both on and off farm holdings, for example food and drink businesses and butchery facilities; or
- Improvements to animal health and welfare for example gait analysis systems, mobile handling systems, and electronic weight systems linked to EID (electronic identification) readers.
Micro and Small Businesses
LEADER wants to help establish, support and grow micro and small businesses in the area. Investments can be made which will help you produce more or something new, or help you access new markets or link up with other businesses in the area. All applications will need to show that the investment will directly result in increased employment opportunities and / or growth of the business. Farm diversification activities are also eligible.
Tourism is another key element of our local economy. The LEADER Programme wants to support tourism businesses to improve their offer to visitors, to be more innovative in the use of technology, and to extend the season which will increase footfall and visitor spending in the area. Visitor attractions, facilities, products and services can all be considered. To be successful your application will need to show that jobs will be created and that the economy will benefit as a result of any funding being awarded.
Our fourth priority is forestry. LEADER wants to support forestry contracting businesses or private forestry holdings requiring equipment and machinery to help produce, extract or process both timber and non-timber products. Continuing with the economic theme of the Programme, your application will need to show that LEADER funding will help create employment opportunities, and add value to the timber / forest products, as well as improve woodland management.
Our area has inspiring landscapes, unique attractions, notable assets and resourceful people – LEADER funding can help make more of these benefits. If you have plans for your farm, your business, your community, it would be well worth having a look at what LEADER is offering.
Full details on how to apply, including the Outline Application (and a list of eligible / ineligible equipment), can be found on our website – www.moorscoastandhills.org.uk
Our website also has a lot more information on LEADER, but if you have any questions or queries, or would like to talk through a potential project or application in advance of submitting an Outline Application, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.