The BNED LEADER Approach is now open for business and invites projects to apply for funding

The BNED LEADER Local Action Group (LAG) has been awarded €1,713,000 of European Agricultural Fund For Rural Development (EAFRD) through the Rural Development Programme for England for the funding of rural projects in the local area. This represents a Sterling equivalent of approximately £1,370,000 (this figure may alter in line with Euro exchange rates).

Funding will still be available until such time as the UK exits the European Union.

 

 

Increasing Farming Productivityee48

Priority 1 – Support to increase farm productivity

1a) A project to improve the overall performance and sustainability of an agricultural holding

Grant funding can help pay for:

  • equipment and machinery to improve the efficiency of the use of energy, water, fertiliser and other direct inputs
  • equipment and machinery to reduce impacts on soils
  • reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • investments to improve the management of slurry and manures to reduce the
  • reliance on artificial fertilisers and improve the nutrient management of soils
  • investments to mechanise production, increase productivity and help reduce harvest losses

1b) An investment in improving animal health and welfare

Grant funding can help pay for: 

  • equipment to improve animal welfare and support the management and prevention of disease
  • improving the early detection of diseases
  • equipment and machinery to improve animal handling above ‘standard equipment’

Who can apply for LEADER funding under priority 1a) & 1b)

  • farmers
  • groups of farmers
  • horticultural producers

Costs could include:

  • the buying of new and second hand equipment
  • costs related to the project such as engineer and consultant fees (as long as these don’t add up to more than 15% of the project’s total eligible costs)
  • buying or developing a dedicated piece of computer software (but not an off-the-shelf piece of software like Microsoft Office)
  • patents, licences, copyrights and trademarks
     

1c) A project for processing primary agricultural produce to add value

Who can apply

  • farmers
  • horticultural producers
  • landowners
  • micro and small processing businesses
  • someone who wants to start a processing business

Grant funding can help pay for:

  • investment in equipment, technologies or processes to develop new or higher quality agri-food products
  • construction or conversion of buildings to be used for processing activities
  • investments in the production and processing of non-timber forest products, particularly wild venison, including on-holding cold storage and butchery facilities
  • investments in collaborative grain processing facilities which benefit a number of farmers
  • food processing projects investing in equipment, technologies or processes to reduce waste

Costs could include:

  • constructing and/or improving buildings
  • buying new and second hand equipment and machinery
  • The following costs are also eligible, if they form part of a larger project being funded:
  • architect, engineer or consultant fees related to the project (as long as these don’t add up to more than 15% of the project’s total eligible costs)
  • buying or developing a dedicated piece of computer software (but not an off-the-shelf piece of software like Microsoft Office)
  • patents, licences, copyrights or trademarks
  • landscaping, when it is ‘making good’ as part of a larger construction project.
  • development of marketing materials, but not their production or distribution

1d) Investments in reservoirs and irrigation

Who can apply

  • farmers
  • groups of farmers
  • horticultural producers  

Grant funding can help pay for:

  • constructing a water storage reservoir (above or below ground) for use in crop production including construction of dam walls
  • synthetic liner, if needed
  • overflow / spillway
  • associated infrastructure such as
  • abstraction point including pump
  • pipework to fill the reservoir
  • water meters
  • irrigation pump(s) and controls
  • pumphouse
  • underground water distribution main and hydrants
  • filtration equipment including sand or screen filters and UV treatment
  • fencing for synthetically lined reservoirs only
  • best practice or innovative water application equipment such as
  • trickle irrigation
  • boom irrigators
  • software and sensors to optimise water application
  • buying or developing a dedicated piece of computer software to monitor soil moisture levels and schedule irrigation (but not an off-the-shelf piece of software like Microsoft Office)
  • construction engineer fees for the project (as long as these don’t add up to more than 15% of the project’s total eligible costs)

Are panel engineer fees eligible?

Construction engineer fees (if incurred after a Grant Funding Agreement is signed) are potentially eligible but fees for supervising engineers and inspecting engineers are not eligible.

 

 

 

 

Support for Micro and Small BusinessesFunds under this priority will be used to provide grants for:

  • developing or starting rural micro and small businesses (these are businesses employing less than 50 workers with a turnover of less than €20m - approximately £15m)
  • farm diversification projects (farm businesses expanding into non-farming activities)

The Area contains a high proportion of micro and small businesses which are the backbone of the rural economy. Of the 8,380 businesses in the BNED area, 7,491 are small/micro enterprises. The majority of these businesses are very small with 0 - 4 employees.

The rural area also contains a relatively small but growing number of community/social enterprises, again with the majority having very few employees. There is real potential to build on the enterprising nature of communities in the area using LEADER funding to support both new initiatives and to help develop and grow exisitng operations.

Eligible Activities

The objective of the LAG is to stimulate new micro-enterprise development and enable the growth of micro/small enterprises with particular emphasis on businesses and sectors with growth potential. Included within the eligible activities for the 2014-2020 rural development programme are;

  • Start-up costs - particularly those businesses that offer future growth potential
  • Developing the food and drink sector including the supply chain and encouraging greater exporting
  • Developing the creative/cultural and digital/higher technology industries evidencing growth potential
  • Developing micro/small businesses manufacturing themselves and within the sector supply chain

Who can apply for grant funding?

Business people & entrepreneurs (either unemployed people, new businesses, or existing businesses employing less than 50 people) in all business sectors, but particularly the following: tourism, accommodation, visitor attractions and food & drink.

Support will also be available for members of farming businesses who are looking to diversify into non-agricultural activities.

Eligible Costs may include:

  • Business start-up aid
  • Construction, establishment or expansion of workshops, factories, premises and facilities
  • Purchase of equipment - not consumables
  • Processing and marketing of products

How much grant funding can you apply for?

The LAG has determined within the Local Development Strategy that 50% of project funding will be allocated to this priority. This equates to €702,329.

The maximum amount you can apply for is 40% of the overall project costs up to a maximum amount of €200,000 (approximately £150,000). The remaining 60% must be private match which means you cannot use other public funding, such as Lottery funding and other European funding.

Outputs:

Depending on the level of grant requested, we will expect eligible grant recipients to achieve some of the following:

  • Number of Micro-enterprises supported/created - 24
  • Employment created - 44

 

Rural services0310To raise the profile of the area and to ensure it is attractive for residents, businesses and visitors. These projects will hope to link tourism providers, extend the tourism season and encourage visitors to stay by providing high quality recreational and tourism enterprises.

The objective of this funding measure is to develop the visitor offer to enhance the quality, value and further growth potential of tourism to the local economy.

By growing the quality of the visitor offer through supporting events, festivals, attractions and accommodation, it is the aim of this LEADER programme to develop the tourism sector and attract overnight visitors and the added economic benefits they bring.

The potential for job creation, both directly and indirectly and the benefits to the surrounding local economy are considerable. The programme will therefore encourage projects that will deliver this through the following examples;

  • Accommodation upgrades and new development - hotels, B&Bs, hostels, yurts etc
  • Shops, catering services, restaurants and cafes
  • Use of IT and e-booking systems
  • Investment in green infrastructure e.g. cycle ways
  • Signage and interpretation linked with local food and drink and the natural/built environment
  • Visitor attractions, destination marketing and promotion
  • Events and festivals

Who can apply for grant funding?

  • Business people & entrepreneurs (either unemployed people, new businesses, or existing businesses) particularly in the following business sectors: tourism, accommodation, visitor attractions and food & drink
  • A community group that wants to invest in small-scale infrastructure to support and develop tourism
  • A group of rural tourist businesses working together to develop groups of activity

What will be achieved?

The outcomes that would be expected to be achieved from funded projects will include;

Increased quality of tourism and related businessesIncreased quality of visitors to the area from low-level spending day visitors to higher spending overnight visitorsIncreased diversity of tourism and related business/infrastructureIncreased number of tourism related jobs

How much grant funding can you apply for?

The LAG has determined within the Local Development Strategy to allocate 23% of the total funding. This equates to €323,073.

The maximum amount you can apply for is 40% of the overall project costs up to a maximum of €200,000. The remaining 60% must be private match which means you cannot use other public funding, such as Lottery funding and other European funding.

Outputs

Depending on the level of grant requested, we will expect eligible grant recipients to achieve some of the following:

a) Number of new tourism actions supported - 8

b) Additional number of overnight visitors - 2,461

c) Employment Created - 15

 

Culture and Heritage13f3

Projects should make a contribution to growing the local economy.

They could include; the development of community buildings, public spaces or culturl/tourism amenities. 

Applications will be invited from projects that will improve rural service delivery to create new jobs and increase the sustainability of rural services.

Ensuring community access to key services is important. Community facilities such as village halls, pubs and churches play an important role in providing a base for other services in rural communities, such as childcare provision and post offices.

The LAG will encourage initiatives which enable new services to be provided in rural communities that fill gaps in current provision and will include:

Examples may include;

  • Setting-up, improvement or expansion of essential rural services for the local community
  • Investments in premises supporting leisure activities
  • Investments in the establishment, extension and modernisation of basic services provision facilities (e.g. local markets, community centres for social activities, etc.)

Eligible Activities may include;

  • Investments in innovative service delivery projects e.g. linked with alternative means of public transport systems or active ageing
  • Signposting of touristic sites
  • Construction and modernisation of tourism information centres, visitor information and guidance
  • Construction of shelters and safety facilities linked to soft-tourism
  • Establishing of e-booking systems for tourist services
  • Development of soft tourism with its basic strong features (small scale, locally specific product, local ownership and labour, local business linkages, strong social-cultural affinities, limited negative environmental impact)

Eligible Costs may include;

  • Construction, acquisition (including leasing) or improvement to immovable property
  • General costs linked to facilitating investments such as architect, engineer, consultation fees up to 15% of total project costs

How much grant funding can you apply for?

The LAG has determined within the Local Development Strategy to allocate 12% of the total funding to this priority. This equates to €168,558.

In exceptional circumstances the maximum amount you can apply for is 100% of the overall project costs, although the LAG would encourage private match funding for all projects.

De minimis state aid regulations mean that a maximum of €200,000 is available to any one applicant in a 3 year period. If an applicant has had other public funding, this may count towards de minimis state aid amount and reduce the amount of money they can apply for.

Outputs

Depending on the level of grant requested we will expect eligible grant recipients to achieve some of the following:

Number of beneficiaries - 6

Jobs created - 2