Funding available to support rural enterprise in the borough

Page last updated at 04 November 2015 at 10:06

Enterprises based in rural parts of the borough can bid for funding if they have a project idea that will create jobs and boost the 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. 

The Fieldfare LEADER programme is a partnership with Eastleigh, Winchester, East Hampshire and Havant local authorities and the South Downs National Park Authority and is part of the Rural Development Programme for England Grants are available for projects which meet the aims of Fieldfare’s Local Development Strategy 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.

Cabinet Lead for Business & Skills Cllr Suzy Hamel said, “Eastleigh Borough Council are delighted to become a partner in the Fieldfare programme that offers much needed development grants to create new employment opportunities and increase economic growth for SME's in rural areas. We are keen to support our rural businesses and I would encourage any rural companies in the borough, with ideas to grow their business, to take advantage of this opportunity to bid for funding, from 2.5k to £50k, through this Rural Development programme.”

Mike Ridout, Fieldfare LEADER group Chair said “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”.

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 www.fieldfareleader.org.uk Or check your eligibility by postcode at Fieldfare Leader - LEADER 2014 -2020

For more information please contact Ken Brown on 01962 848 588 or kbrown@winchester.gov.uk