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Funds available for South Shropshire businesses

Rural businesses based in South Shropshire are being urged to consider applying for a grant to fund their growth plans.

Stuart Richards, a chartered rural surveyor based at Halls in Shrewsbury, has a 100 per cent success rate with Southern Shropshire LEADER programme grant applications on behalf of farmers and other rurally based businesses. The applications have generated more than £150,000 in grants.

“LEADER funding is made available to successful applicants who have a project that creates jobs, helps a local business grow and benefits the wider rural economy,” he explained.

“With another round of funding now available, it’s a good time for farmers and other business owners, who have a project in mind, to consider making a grant application.”

The LEADER grant is managed by Shropshire Council in the county for the Rural Development Programme for England.

South Shropshire LEADER programme funds farmers, growers, foresters, other local rural businesses and rural community organisations to help create jobs, develop rural businesses and support the rural economy.

Eligible projects receive between £2,500 and £40,000 and 70 per cent of them must directly support the rural economy through creating and supporting micro and small rural businesses. The remaining 30 per cent of projects must demonstrate that they are contributing to improving the rural economy.

LEADER usually funds around 40 per cent of total project costs, with the remainder provided by the applicant, but the amount of grant support available varies according to priorities.
An applicant must show that their idea is good value for money and that he or she is planning to use the grant money to improve their project, which must be supported by market research to demonstrate demand.

*For more information, contact Stuart Richards on 01743 450700.

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