Funding: LEADER: A Funding Opportunity for Rural Communities

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Community Action Norfolk are sharing this information on behalf of the LEADER Team, please contact them with any queries.

LEADER: A Funding Opportunity for Rural Communities

LEADER is a ‘bottom-up’ local community based approach to spending the European Rural Development Programme Fund in England. Funding decisions are made by Local Action Groups (LAGs) according to national funding priorities and Local Development Strategies. There are 5 Local Action Group areas in Norfolk; The Broads; The Brecks; Waveney Valley; Wensum & Coast; and West Norfolk.

Who can apply?

LEADER accepts applications from rural organisations including community organisations, charities, new or existing micro or small businesses, and in some cases public or private entities working in partnership with small and micro businesses and rural community.

LEADER can fund rural community projects which contribute to one of the following funding priorities: 

  • Support of micro and small businesses,
  • Provision of rural services,
  • Support for cultural and heritage activity. 

LEADER will support projects which:

  • support micro and small businesses to start up or grow creating jobs and contributing towards rural economic growth;
  • make a contribution to growing the local economy through the provision of services or infrastructure which aim to alleviate some of the difficulties faced by rural communities, including the development of community buildings, public spaces, or cultural or tourism amenities; 
  • promote, enhance and maintain cultural heritage assets and events where this promotes growth in the tourism economy, creates a sense of local identity through raised awareness, or helps protect the cultural heritage against damage and degradation.

Grants and how to apply

Grants are between £2,500 and £170,000 and can fund up to 40% of commercial projects, 80% of non-profit making projects where there is some income to offset costs, and 100% for projects that do not generate any income.

There is a two stage application process and Facilitator support is available to advise and guide you in putting together a robust application and LAGs meet quarterly to consider applications.  For further information including LEADER Applicant Handbooks and dates of LAG meetings please click here.   

LEADER grants will be awarded up until Great Britain leaves the European Union and project expenditure can take place after that date.

To make an enquiry and/or arrange to speak to a Facilitator please email leaderteam@norfolk.gov.uk  or telephone 01603 222930