European funding helps local rural enterprise

Farmers, woodland owners, rural businesses and communities across Wessex have received grant funding from the Rural Development Programme for England – and there is more to come.

Five Rural Local Action Groups have allocated over £6.1m to 384 projects since April 2009. This investment has generated more than 265 new jobs, supported 775 rural businesses and enabled £18m economic growth.

Members of the Local Action Groups met with Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership recently to explore how they can work together to secure more funding in future.

David Webb is Chair of the Winchester & East Hampshire group. He is a local businessman and has been involved in the project from the start. He said:

“We have seen first-hand how a rural development grant can create local jobs, enable farms to diversify and support local food producers to generate economic growth. We will continue to support projects that offer opportunities for new jobs and that support our local economy.”

Discussions are currently taking place with regard to the next round of European Union Rural Development funding (2014 – 2020) and the Wessex groups want to ensure that local rural communities benefit from the opportunities that these grants can provide.

Local Action Groups always welcome new members who work, live or have an interest in supporting rural economic projects.

Contact details:

Ken Brown, Rural Development Programme Manager, Fieldfare Local Action Group, Winchester City Council
01962 848 588
Twitter: @FieldfareLAG
Facebook: Fieldfare Local Action Group