Rural business funding now open for bids

Stamford High Street. File picture.'Photo: MSMP191112-011ow

Stamford High Street. File picture.'Photo: MSMP191112-011ow

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Rural businesses can now apply for funding for expansion or new projects to support and grow the rural economy.

An information event held in Bourne in September attracted a full house of interested parties, and organisers are now inviting outline applications.

A total of £1.53m of grant funding has been allocated to the Local Action Zone (LAZ) around Grantham (the Kestevens Leader fund) and £1.42m is available in the Leader Wash and Fens LAZ area including Stamford, Bourne and The Deepings.

The EU-funded Leader programme is scheduled to run for five years to create jobs, develop a new or existing business, improve productivity and efficiency, increase tourism visitors or improve rural services and communities.

Businesses, community groups and parish councils are amongst those who can apply for projects ranging from increasing farm productivity, supporting micro and small businesses and farm diversification, boosting rural tourism, providing rural services, providing cultural and heritage activities where this promotes growth in the tourism economy, and increasing forestry productivity.

It is the first time that Leader programme funding aimed at supporting growth, jobs and services within the rural economy has included South Kesteven.

The minimum grant is £2,500 and the maximum that can be applied for is £141,302. For details of how to apply go to www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/funding