The SDLAG sets a challenge to support rural communities, local products and tourism

bc_postbox-c-dorset-leaderThe Local Action Group has also identified several areas for specific support and on the 7 November launched a competitive challenge to residents, community groups and enterprises to help it meet three of these objectives.

Call 1 Local Food & Drink Innovation: Up to £40,000 is available for one project to strengthen locally produced, food and drink supply chains, locally and further afield. The local food and drink sector in Dorset is vibrant and dynamic, with enormous potential to drive growth and create employment. Some locations within the LAG are already well served with food and drink events and festivals but the wider ability of the sector to raise its profile in and out of the county and for producers to deliver cost-effective, consistency for buyers, requires further development. The closing date for first stage applications is 6 January 2017. Download the Call Paper for the Food & Drink Project

Call 2 Community Places, Community Hubs: Up to £183,000 is available to be shared across several projects. These projects will support rural communities to create new provision for rural services across multiple or shared services. Residents of the LAG area tell us that essential rural services are under threat and in decline. Pressures from a wide range of factors contribute to the difficulties faced by rural residents to sustain existing services. Many look for support to help create imaginative solutions to ensure the survival of their community shop, pub, post office, library, doctor’s surgery, youth centre, day care centre, pre-school, etc. The closing date for first stage applications is 2 March 2017. Download the Call Paper for the Community Project

Call 3 Celebrate Rural Dorset: Up to £40,000 is available for one proposal to work with rural communities researching and delivering innovative visitor interpretation. The LAG sees considerable scope for adding value to the remarkable natural, historic and cultural heritage of southern Dorset. The closing date for first stage applications is 6 January 2016. Download the Call Paper to Celebrate rural Dorset

The calls are competitive and only those which meet the set criteria will be invited to make an application.

Project hints & tips: Applying for a tourism accommodation grant

by Sarah Harbige,  Dorset LEADER Programme Manager

Funding for tourist accommodation projects is low priority for Southern Dorset LAG. As a result there are more hoops to jump through to be considered eligible for our support:

We are often asked what you should think about to help make your project a higher priority. Ask yourself:

  • Can my project show strong economic benefits? – that is does it create year round, high quality employment (at least 1FTE for every £25K of funding and increase GVA by 5% per annum
  • Are my proposed accommodation units of sufficient quality?
  • Is there demand for additional accommodation in my locality and will the the impact on my competition be low?
  • Is LEADER funding really my last resort? – I have exhausted all other possibilities.

The project also needs to ensure that it does not create second homes. It would also be a stronger fit with our local priorities if it supported tourism sector growth in inland areas.

Any questions: contact James (01305 225525) to talk through your project in more detail or come along to our next roadshow.