Financing Your Business

Financing Your Business

Leader

Leader provides a range of grant funding for rural businesses.

There are two Local Action Groups (LAGS) for Leader funding in Cumbria:

  • Solway, Border and Eden, covering West Cumbria, the Solway Coastal Plain and the Eden Valley
  • Fells and Dales, covering the Lake District National Park, Cumbrian section of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, upper Eden Valley and Cumbria section of Morecambe Bay including Walney Island

Grants are on offer on a competitive basis, subject to availability, as follows:

Farm Productivity

(1a) Projects to improve the overall performance and sustainability of an agricultural holding

Eligible applicants under (1a) are farmers, groups of farmers and horticultural producers. Grants are available from £2,500 to £10,000. Applicants can apply for a grant to cover up to 40% of the project’s eligible costs.*

(1b) Investments to support animal health and welfare improvements

Eligible applicants under (1b) are farmers and groups of farmers. Grants are available from £2,500 to £10,000. Applicants can apply for a grant to cover up to 40% of the project’s eligible costs.*

* Still accepting Expressions of Interest for Priority 1a and b projects but due to the high demand for this funding we may not be able to invite your project to the Full Application stage.

(1c) The processing, marketing and/or development of agricultural products

Eligible applicants under (1c) are farmers, landowners, micro and small processing businesses and new processing businesses. Grants are available from £2,500 to €200,000. Applicants can apply for a grant to cover up to 40% of the project’s eligible costs.

Applicants applying under (1c) must demonstrate how the project will provide economic growth and job creation opportunities. For every £30,000 of grant, applicants must be able to create at least 1 new full-time equivalent sustainable job.

Support for Small & Micro Enterprises

Grants to support

  • The growth of micro and small rural enterprises (non-agricultural)
  • New business start-ups with capital purchases
  • Improvements in productivity and efficiency of micro and small enterprises
  • Community and social enterprise start up and expansion particularly to provide rural services

Grants are available from £2,500 up to 200,000 Euros. Applicants can apply for a grant to cover up to 40% of the project’s eligible costs.

Applicants must demonstrate how the project will provide economic growth and job creation opportunities. For every £30,000 of grant, applicants must be able to create at least 1 new full-time equivalent sustainable job.

Farm Diversification

Grants to:

  • Support new diversification activity which does not displace other businesses and business activity in the area
  • Expand existing farm diversification projects which have significant outputs
  • Contribute to significant cost savings and income generation to the farm business through the introduction of renewable technology
  • Create links between the farm and the wider local economy
  • Retain young people/new entrants in farming by increasing farm income levels to improve its sustainability

Grants are available from £2,500 up to €200,000. Applicants can apply for a grant to cover up to 40% of the project’s eligible costs.

Applicants must demonstrate how the project will provide economic growth and job creation opportunities. For every £30,000 of grant, applicants must be able to create at least 1 new full-time equivalent sustainable job.

Support for tourism activity – Solway, Border and Eden

Support for tourism businesses, accommodation providers, attraction providers, those working as groups for promotional purposes and those in hospitality to invest in projects which build on the distinctiveness of the Solway, Border and Eden LAG area.

Applications are sought which:

  • Support the development of a quality tourism offer in areas outside the ‘pull’ of the Lake District and Hadrian’s Wall based on those area’s unique sense of place which does not displace other activity in the area
  • Support for innovative technology that enhances collaboration and communication between businesses and between businesses and customers to attract a higher value added customer base
  • Where appropriate provide enhanced, restored, upgraded quality accommodation and attractions particularly to increase the number and/or length of stay of visitors

Grants are available from £2,500 up to €200,000. See Applicant Handbook for grant rates.

Applicants must demonstrate how the project will provide economic growth and job creation opportunities. For every £30,000 of grant, applicants must be able to create at least 1 new full-time equivalent sustainable job.

Support for tourism activity – Fells and Dales

Support to tourism businesses, accommodation providers, attraction providers, those working as groups for promotional purposes and those in hospitality to invest in projects which build on the distinctiveness of the Fells and Dales LAG area.

Applications are sought which:

  • Expand venues for tourism activity to enable them develop their offer and become more sustainable, in particular those located in less visited areas of Fells and Dales, ‘all weather’ or ‘non-weather’ dependent activity, development of ‘niche’ tourism experiences, utilisation of linkages to sustainable transport infrastructure, and/or are aimed at the international visitor
  • Develop and provide high quality sustainable bed space, in particular where it is located in less visited areas of Fells and Dales and to attract new visitor groups (e.g. business tourism, overseas visitors). The funding is highly unlikely to support new bed space in the more visited parts of the area, due to the risk of displacing established businesses unless it is meeting a new visitor market, providing new experience, developing a niche market
  • Assist hospitality businesses or food and drink businesses who offer a locally distinctive approach and/or menu

Grants are available from £2,500 up to €200,000. See Applicant Handbook for grant rates.

Provision of rural services

Grants to develop innovative approaches to rural service provision, to increase accessibility to rural services and to promote community cohesion.

Applications are sought from rural businesses, community organisations, charities and partnerships, which:

  • Invest in the improvement and/or expansion of community assets particularly those that can act as sustainable ‘hubs’ for local activity and service delivery (e.g. pubs, shops etc)
  • Invest in small scale innovative and collaborative community based projects and technologies that seek to improve accessibility to rural services and reduce social isolation
  • Support community greening and energy initiatives (not otherwise supported through FITs/RHI)

Grants are available from £2,500 up to €200,000. See Applicant Handbook for grant rates.

Revenue support available is very limited and cannot be used to fund on-going salaries. Contact the LEADER Programme Team for more information.

Applicants must demonstrate how the project will provide economic growth and job creation opportunities. For every £30,000 of grant, applicants must be able to create at least 1 new full-time equivalent sustainable job.

Support for cultural and heritage activity

There is a very limited amount of funding available and applications will be assessed on a case by case basis by the LAGs. The LAGs are seeking strong projects with a clear fit to the objectives of this priority (see LEADER Applicant Handbook and Local Development Strategy for more information on this).

Increasing forestry productivity

Funds under this priority will be used to provide grants to improve the economic performance, resilience and competitiveness of the forestry sector.

Applications are sought from owners or tenants of private forestry holdings and micro, small and medium-sized forestry contracting businesses, which:

  • Invest in machinery and equipment to help the production, extraction, mobilising, processing and marketing of timber and non-timber products (such as wild venison)
  • Invest in new forestry technologies and products
  • Enhance the forestry potential or add value to forest products by processing, mobilising or marketing
  • Develop wood fuel supply chains

Grants are available from £2,500 up to €200,000. Applicants can apply for a grant to cover up to 40% of the project’s eligible costs.

Applicants must demonstrate how the project will provide economic growth and job creation opportunities. For every £30,000 of grant, applicants must be able to create at least 1 new full-time equivalent sustainable job.

ALL APPLICATIONS should demonstrate how the project will create wider benefits for the local community and economy. Projects can do this through, for example:

  • The introductions of ‘green’ technology creating a significant saving in business running costs and/or which moves the business towards a recognised environmental accreditation
  • Creation of high skilled and/or high value jobs
  • Creation of employment for young people and disadvantaged groups
  • Use and promotion of local suppliers including food and drink
For more information

See www.sbeleader.org.uk or www.fellsanddales.org.uk

Email sbeleader@cumbria.gov.uk or fellsanddales@cumbria.gov.uk

Or phone 01900 70600.

  • EAFRD
  • Carlisle City Council
  • Allerdale Borough Council
  • Borough of Barrow-In-Furness
  • Cumbria County Council
  • Eden District Council

Get in Touch

Contact us today for help and advice on starting or growing your business.

Tel: 0844 257 8450

Email: info@cumbriachamber.co.uk