Rural Services

We know that many communities within our area feel too small to sustain their own services, such as the village hall, shop, post office, public house and transport links. However, there is a strong desire to safeguard these assets, often by bringing together various services within the same location or by working with neighbouring communities to share resources across several villages.

We want to encourage rural communities to find their own innovative solutions to some of the issues facing their residents. We particularly want to hear from strong community partnerships. Projects should make a contribution to growing the rural economy.

Types of projects we want to fund:

Community Places – Community Hubs. In 2016 we will call for projects that support rural communities, finding imaginative and well founded initiatives to ensure sustained provision of rural services. This could be through mixed used facilities; e.g. a community store with post office, café and Wi-Fi or larger community ‘hubs’; including shop, meeting space, health care provision, community libraries, leisure facilities, cultural activity, place of worship, working space and residential accommodation. Hubs may be shared across several communities.

Transport Solutions

  • Community based projects to provide some long-term options for rural transport issues, using, for example internet based car-sharing across our rural area.
  • Projects to support green infrastructure projects; such as cycleways, footpaths and bridleways around and between communities.

Affordable Energy Projects to help rural communities make use of alternative/renewable energy sources to ensure access to affordable energy, perhaps linking to our priority for woodland products and woodfuel supply chains.

LAG Priority

Safeguard and enhance community facilities and access to rural services, Encourage enterprise and growth, Encourage collaboration and cooperative working

Leader Priority

Provision of rural services

Funding Available

Minimum grant approximately £5,000 Maximum grant approximately £140,000. Maximum grant rate of between 60-75% depends on the whether the project is non-profit making and is of benefit to the wider local tourist economy.

Who Can Apply?

New or existing rural based micro and small businesses , rural community organisations, local authorities (in exceptional circumstances).

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