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 Productivityee48These grants will support a wide range of farm investments. Particularly for businesses that want to invest in innovative business practices and new technologies to help them become more sustainable and productive. Farmers or groups of farmers can apply.

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

These grants are particularly for businesses investing in innovative practices and new technologies to become more productive, economically sustainable and to create jobs.

The objective of the LAG is to support increase in farm productivity through:

  • Improving the overall performance and sustainability of an agricultural holding
  • Improving animal health and welfare
  • Processing of primary agricultural produce to add value
  • Investing in reservoirs and irrigation systems  

Who can apply for grant funding? 

  • Farmers
  • Groups of farmers
  • Horticultural producers

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


Eligible Costs may include:

  • the buying or hire purchase 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


How much grant funding can you apply for?

The LAG has determined within the Local Development Strategy that 10% of project funding will be allocated to this priority. This equates to €140,466.

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 projects supported - 7

Employment created - 8

Ineligible and Eligible items [pdf / 68KB] RPA list of Ineligible and Eligible items for Priorities 1 & 6