Rural Development Group allocates EU cash to local projects

Press Release: 26/10/2012

Grants

Fieldfare, the Winchester & East Hampshire Rural Development Local Action Group (LAG) has allocated £1.4m to 117 projects since April 2009.

Farmers, woodland owners, rural businesses and communities across Winchester and East Hampshire have received grant funding from the Rural Development Programme for England.

David Webb is a local businessman and Chairs the group. He is joined on the LAG by local farmers, business owners, community and Council representatives. He said,

 We have seen first hand how a rural development grant can create local jobs, enable farms to diversify and support local businesses to generate economic growth. Over 126 new jobs have been created by businesses that have received rural development grants and the projects have generated over £7m investment into our local rural economy.

The project is an economic partnership that includes Winchester City Council and East Hampshire District Council.

Cllr Robert Humby, Deputy Leader of Winchester City Council said,

This is a great example of how local government can support local action. The group has achieved incredible results and by working closely with local people they have created opportunities to maximize their allocation of European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development finance.

The LAG hopes to secure more cash in the next round of rural development funding from the EU in 2014. Ken Brown, Programme Manager has been inspired with the way that the group has taken on the challenge of managing a complex grant project. He says

Working with this group of volunteers and organizational representatives has been a true privilege. We have made a real difference to the quality of lives for people working and living in our rural communities. At a time when creating economic prosperity is challenging and despite problems with rural broadband and access to finance, people want to develop their ideas. We have some amazing stories to share about these on our website

To find out more about the project log onto www.Fieldfareleader.org.uk or call Ken Brown on 01962 848 588 or email kbrown@Winchester.gov.uk