Funding available to support rural enterprise

Press Release: 29/10/2015

Fieldfare LEADER

Do you have a project idea that will create jobs and boost our local economy?

Farmers, foresters, growers, rural businesses and rural communities can now bid for a share of a £1.6million fund across the Fieldfare area. Grants are available for projects which meet the aims of Fieldfare’s Local Development Strategy.

We want to hear from you if your project will:

  • Create jobs
  • Increase farm or forestry productivity / efficiency
  • Develop new markets
  • Increase visitor spend in the area or
  • Provide an essential rural service.

Fieldfare will be announcing when funding is available for different projects over the next five years. The first request is for projects which will create employment opportunities. Future rounds will include projects to help tourism or service-based businesses amongst other priorities.

Mike Ridout, Fieldfare LEADER group Chair is looking forward to seeing the LEADER scheme address local issues and he knows how this will make a real difference to local rural communities:

We see this as an exciting opportunity to build on the success of the last programme when 134 projects received funding to create 126 new jobs. LEADER is a rural funding scheme where local people have been involved in identifying issues and local solutions they need funding to address. Working in partnership with public and voluntary sector bodies, our team of local volunteers will decide which applications best fit local needs.

The Fieldfare LEADER programme is delivered in partnership with Winchester City Council, Eastleigh Borough Council, East Hampshire District Council and the South Downs National Park Authority.

Winchester City Council employs the staff that will deliver this project. Cllr James Byrnes (Portfolio Holder for Local Economy) is pleased to support the scheme:

Fieldfare has achieved a lot over the last five years, and we want to help it achieve even more for our rural communities. Together we can support local people to build more sustainable rural economies and communities.

LEADER is the method of delivering Rural Development Programme funding to beneficiaries through Local Action Groups, ensuring that individuals with local knowledge are involved in key decisions about how funds are spent. The funding exists to support the regeneration of rural communities and is targeted at farmers, woodland owners, small businesses, tourism providers and help rural communities in the area.

Further details about Fieldfare LEADER can be found at
For more information please contact Ken Brown, Programme Manager on 01962 848 588 or