Over £2.3 million European funding now available for Businesses in Torridge and North Devon

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The European LEADER programme for Torridge and North Devon 2015-2019 is one of the largest grant funds in England, with £2.325 million of available grants.

The LEADER programme is live nationally and LEADER 5 Torridge and North Devon are inviting applications for grant funding for rural areas (excluding Barnstaple) across the sectors of farming, business, tourism, rural services, culture, heritage and forestry.

'This is a fantastic opportunity for local businesses and community groups to access grant support to develop projects which will grow their businesses, create jobs and benefit the rural population and the economy' says Louise Adam from North Devon+. We want to be able to support projects that will have a positive legacy for the area'.

Viv Gale, who chairs the Local Action Group for the LEADER programme says: 'To move our area into prosperity we have to acknowledge the diversity of our businesses and social base and develop it. That is our strength and I hope that, as in past programmes, the LEADER money will play its part in ensuring the sustainability and development of that core'.

The LEADER programme is supported by both District Councils.

Economic Development Manager for North Devon Council Ellen Vernon states: ' North Devon has long history of successfully delivering LEADER programmes, this current fund has an emphasis on economic growth and job creation, and we anticipate a wide range of local businesses and organisation can be supported through the programme.

Sean Kearney, Commercial and Leisure Services Manager for Torridge District Council added: 'The announcement of a further LEADER award is great news for communities and small businesses in Torridge.  The grants that the programme will provide will build on the past successes of LEADER funding and further contribute to economic growth and increased prosperity in the area. The team at North Devon+ are ready to help people through the application process and businesses are being encouraged to come forward and talk through or register their ideas for projects'.

LEADER 5 is open for grant applications which cover 6 key areas: (click on each title for more information)

• Priority 1 - Support to increase farm productivity

Priority 2 - Support for micro & small enterprises and farm diversification

• Priority 3 - Support for rural tourism

Priority 4 - Provision of rural services

Priority 5 - Support for cultural and heritage activity

Priority 6 - Support for increasing forestry productivity

In the meantime you can find more information and register your early project ideas at www.leader5.co.uk or by contacting 01237 426423.

04 August 2017