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LEADER Rural Business Funding

Funding to support rural enterprise

Funding under Leader is available to rural businesses, farmers, foresters, growers, landowners, environmental organisations, cultural, heritage and community providers, as well as voluntary and charitable organisations to develop projects that will assist, strengthen and develop themselves and their local area.

LEADER can provide grant investment between £2,500 and £50,000. Grants above this amount will be considered if, in the LAG’s opinion a project demonstrates excellent value for money and will significantly over deliver on outputs i.e. jobs and growth.

The emphasis of the Programme will be on providing Jobs and Growth. This is a requirement set by Defra and each LAG will deliver 70% of project funding directly in support of jobs and growth in the rural economy – using the six priorities for the new Programme. Secondly, it is expected that every project a LAG approves demonstrates it has a benefit to the rural economy.


Priorities include:

Support for increasing farm productivity
Support for micro and small enterprises and farm diversification
Support for rural tourism
Provision of rural services
Support for cultural and heritage activity
Support for increasing forestry production



Priorities for Kent Downs and Marshes Region:

  • Assist businesses to access the necessary ‘business critical’ infrastructure being developed at LEP and County level and encourage the take up of new technologies to increase productivity and competitiveness for rural businesses.
  • Foster a resilient, sustainable and profitable land based sector.
  • Support the development of a culture of rural entrepreneurship.
  • Strengthen the Visitor Economy in terms of sustainability and performance.
  • Foster the entrepreneurial capacity and resilience of rural communities encouraging innovative ways to deliver services.
  • Help maintain and protect the landscape as an economic and cultural asset.
  • Foster a low carbon economy as a key to preserving the environment.
  • Develop opportunities for multifunctional and sustainable woodland management in response to rising energy costs and promote integrated use.
  • Optimise and promote the use of local produce to grow the market.   
For an eligibility map, click here

For an applicants handbook, click here



Please contact Huw Jarvis, Programme Manager, at Kent County Council: 03000 417 104; Huw.Jarvis@kent.gov.uk for an application form or to discuss your project idea.