Lincolnshire’s rural economy in line for £8m boost

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New funding has been earmarked to offer a helping hand to small rural businesses across Greater Lincolnshire.

Five local area groups (LAGs) have received an indicative allocation of around £8m from the ‘LEADER’ programme, which delivers rural development funding from the EU and Defra.

‘LEADER’ is still working towards a final agreement with the European Commission, but it is hoped contracts will be signed next spring, after which the programmes can be launched.

The funding will be used for projects that support micro and small businesses, increasing farm productivity, farm diversification, tourism, cultural and heritage activity, provision of rural services and forestry productivity.

Following extensive consultation, each LAG has developed a local strategy setting out how their funding will be used and the difference it will make.

Councillor Colin Davie, Executive Member for Economic Development, said: “Lincolnshire is a predominantly rural county, and programmes like this are vital for supporting our small businesses.

“Four of these groups have already delivered £6.9 million of LEADER funding during 2007 to 2013, making a real difference to their local area. And I’m sure the new Kestevens LAG will be equally as successful.

“Under the new programme 70 per cent of all projects must directly support jobs and growth. In addition, the remaining 30 per cent will also need to demonstrate their contribution to improving the rural economy.

“And that’s very welcome news for all of Greater Lincolnshire.”

Details of other current funding opportunities can be found at www.businesslincolnshire.com.