The South Pennines LEADER Local Action group has been successful in securing £1.286M of funding for projects that will create jobs and economic growth in the rural areas of the South Pennines. The grant programme will open in June 2015 for applications from locally distinctive manufacturing, visitor-facing, designer-maker and recreational businesses as well as farm and forestry businesses. To be successful, projects need to be focused on rural tourism, rural enterprise, cultural and heritage activity or increasing farm and forestry productivity.
The Local Action Group is now asking those businesses that have a project in mind, one that will grow their business and create jobs, to get in contact if they are interested in grant funding.
LEADER is a European-wide approach which empowers local people to develop their own local strategies and make decisions about how and where LEADER funding should be spent. This is the second time LEADER funding has been used in the South Pennines – the previous £2.6M programme closed in December 2013.
The programme in the South Pennines is run by a Local Action Group made up of individuals from the private, public and voluntary sectors. This group set out their vision for the South Pennines in a Local Development Strategy and they used this document to bid for the funding that has now been awarded.
Pam Warhurst, Chair of the South Pennines Local Action Group said “we are absolutely delighted to have secured this money for businesses in the South Pennines. With public funding getting harder and harder to access, it is really important that we spend this money where it really brings maximum benefit to our tourism economy. We have a wealth of really distinctive independent businesses in this area producing local products or delivering high quality visitor services and we are very keen to see these businesses grow, prosper and bring more visitor spending into the area. We therefore need some really good quality applications from those businesses that can work with us to develop our local distinctiveness and promote our wonderful landscape.”
More information on the LEADER programme can be found at www.southpenninesleader.co.uk. Businesses are urged to contact the Programme Manager (all contact details can be found on the web site) to discuss any initial project ideas, to check whether they are within the eligible area and to sign up to the LEADER newsletter to receive all the latest news.