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SEEDA awards 27 million Leader funding to support rural businesses in the South East

16 July 2008

Farmers, foresters, growers and rural businesses and communities in South East England will soon be able to apply for a share of the new £27 million Leader programme.

Leader is a source of funding led by SEEDA to help revitalise and support rural businesses.

SEEDA will be distributing the funds directly to 13 Local Action Groups* (LAG). It is these local groups who will decide where the share of the money goes, to ensure it fits local priorities. Each project can receive a grant of up to £50,000. The Leader programme is a source of funding from the EU and Defra through the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE).

"Leader is a locally-led approach which will support a range of schemes to create wealth in rural areas. For example, to help increase the sale value of local produce; to provide renewable energy which will reduce businesses' running costs and tackle climate change; and to increase profits from tourism. The funds will help develop new enterprises as well as providing major opportunities for businesses and communities to work together to invest in their future."

Oona Muirhead, SEEDA Director for Sustainable Prosperity.

Each Local Action Group, which was chosen by a selection panel of stakeholders *, will receive delegated funding of between £1.6 million and £2.6 million for the period 2008 to 2013.

The funding will cover a wide range of activities such as farm diversification, tourism activities, renewable energy projects and collaborating to develop new products and services.

To find your nearest Local Action Group and how and when to apply for funding please visit or contact

Helen Dallas at SEEDA
Tel: 01483 484297.

For more information please contact our press office

Tel: 01483 470155