Century of grants for LEADER programmes

editorial image

THE TWO LEADER programmes covering West Sussex and the surrounding area have awarded their 101st grant supporting the rural economy and communities.

Grants worth more than £1.8 million have now been awarded to farms, small businesses and rural communities across West Sussex.

To celebrate the achievement, West Sussex County Council Deputy Leader Lionel Barnard visited some of the projects awarded grants.

Lionel said: “Thanks to the funding from the LEADER programmes, the projects supported will help create 86 new jobs, with another 199 safeguarded. It represents a total investment in the rural economy and communities of more than £6.5 million.”

The grants have been awarded by the Sussex Downs and Low Weald Local Action Group (55 grants awarded), and the Three Harbours and Coastal Plain Local Action Group (46 grants awarded), made up of volunteers with experience and knowledge of local rural issues.

Recent applications include a new farm shop that will help secure the future of a small traditional dairy farm and a new community run store for a village.

LEADER grants support local ideas and initiatives aimed at improving life in rural areas. Farms and small businesses can apply for grants towards investments to help improve their viability such as equipment, tourism and training.

Community groups can also apply for grants towards a range of initiatives including village halls and community facilities, community shops and conservation and heritage projects.

For further information on LEADER and how to apply for grants, visit the County Council website at www.westsussex.gov.uk/rdpeleader, e-mail rdpeleader@westsussex.gov.uk or contact 01243 756606.