Act now to secure share of rural funding, urges CLA

27 August 2014

The CLA is urging farmers and rural business owners across the region to make sure they don’t miss out on a share of a new £138 million European funding pot.

The Association is encouraging its members to engage with local groups responsible for administering the LEADER programme, which the Government has tasked with delivering the new rural funding on a local level.

CLA Midlands regional director Caroline Bedell said: “With funding still being finalised, there are potentially 15 LEADER groups throughout the Midlands and they all need ideas and suggestions from local farmers and rural business owners as to how the money should be spent.  Many are currently conducting surveys, consultations and public meetings, so this is a good time to find out if you have a local group, and how to best contribute.  

LEADER Local Action Groups (LAGs) are made up of representatives of a local community, including the farming and business sector, who decide which projects should be supported.

Mrs Bedell added: “LEADER is basically a rural funding stream led and driven by those at grass roots in rural communities who have a tremendous track record for delivering projects at a local level.

“Government has now made it clear that jobs and business growth must be the priorities for future funding, so we’re  urging farmers, landowners and other rural businessmen to put themselves forward to ensure their interests are represented.

“This funding is a real opportunity to transform rural businesses, and as such help safeguard many of our remoter communities and the local environment”.

The European Union has already set out the priority areas for the next round of funding. These are: Micro & small enterprises; farm diversification; increasing farm productivity; rural tourism; forestry productivity; and provision of rural services and heritage.

Anyone who would like further information on their local LEADER programme should contact the CLA Midlands regional office on: 01785 337010 or email: midlands@cla.org.uk

For regional LEADER contacts click here