Millions of pounds available for rural businesses and communities

Grant recipients receiving their grant offers on 26 May 2010.

Rural businesses and communities in Winchester and East Hampshire districts are being invited to apply for LEADER funding.

The funding, which is issued by Defra (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and the EU, is intended to help rural businesses and community projects across the country.

The local scheme is administered by the Fieldfare local action group which includes local farmers, foresters, rural businesses, community groups, Winchester City Council, and East Hampshire District Council.

The Fieldfare group has a total of £2.25million to distribute among successful applicants by December 2013.

If you work in the rural areas of East Hampshire or Winchester districts, you might be eligible for funding for your project.

To help raise awareness of the scheme, case studies of successful grant applicants have been released on the Fieldfare LEADER website.

So far, 40 projects have been offered funding; these include apple juice bottling technology, an air source heat pump, a farm shop, and play equipment for a childcare centre.

Andrew Gordon, Chair of the Fieldfare Local Action Group wants to encourage more rural businesses and communities to apply: “We have had an excellent first year giving away grant funding to worthy causes in our rural areas. We want to continue this success, and have used some excellent example case studies. Potential applicants should learn from these and feel encouraged to apply.”

To find out more about the projects funded to date, or to apply for LEADER funding, visit or telephone Ken Brown on 01962 848 588.