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.

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What the Grants are for

The aim of this funding priority is to support projects that will encourage more tourists to come, to stay longer and to spend more money in rural areas.

Who Can Apply

The following types of organisations are eligible to apply under this priority, depending upon the type of project. Please see page 26 of the Applicant's Handbook for more details

  • Small and Micro Businesses including social enterprises
  • Farmers wanting to diversify into tourism
  • Charities
  • Land owners
  • People or groups representing rural communities
  • Public bodies

These grants can fund a wide range of projects that provide products and services to tourists.  Who can apply depends on whether or not the project is profit-making and commercially run.

How Much Funding is Available

The amount of funding you can get depends on whether or not the project is commercially run and intended to make a profit.  The minimum grant is £3,500.

  • Commercially, profit-making project (such as a tourist attraction) - up to 40% of total project costs
  • Makes some income to offset costs but is not intended to make a profit (such as small buildings for tourist information; festivals) - up to 80% of total project costs
  • Generates no income (such as a new cycle path) - up to 100% of total project costs.

Grant Funding Can Help Pay For

Tourist attractions and activities including:

  • developing events and festivals promoting local products
  • developing culture, leisure, heritage, visitor activities or attractions and the marketing and signposting of these
  • supporting niche products linked to quality local food, culture, sport, heritage and rural crafts

Developing tourism infrastructure including:

  • access infrastructure to help people connect to the natural environment such as paths and cycle-ways
  • small buildings for tourist information centres, visitor centres, shelters, and signage and interpretation boards
  • developing innovative technology that enhances collaboration between businesses and provides information to attract visitors
  • developing quality accommodation if there are clear wider benefits to the local tourism economy and if activities do not displace existing accommodation
  • providing benefits to the wider tourism economy in the rural area, for example supporting shops, catering services, restaurants and cafes.

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
  • capital costs involved in supporting events and festivals
  • short term salaries associated with project development

Purchasing of buildings for community use where the project is not intended to make a profit may be eligible.  Please talk to the Programme Officer before submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) if your project involves this.

What Isn't Covered

In addition to the list of items that are not eligible for LEADER funding under any Priority, salaries and office overheads of staff employed to run events and festivals are not eligible under this priority.