Rural Development Programme for England ( ) - LEADER

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1 The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas Rural Development Programme for England ( ) - LEADER Solway, Border and Eden Local Action Group Call for applications to support investments that establish, grow and sustain inclusive micro and small non-agricultural rural enterprises located in the Solway, Border and Eden LAG area. Call Reference Date call open There are several opportunities to submit an outline application to the programme during the year that this call is open. However, funding is limited and the call may close early depending on the availability of funds. SBELEADER15/ Wednesday 18 th November 2015 for up to one year depending on availability of remaining funds First submission deadline is Friday, 11 th December 2015 at 1700 hours. Second submission deadline is Wednesday, 17 th February 2016 at 1700 hours. Third submission deadline is Thursday, 17 th May 2016 at 1700 hours. Fourth submission deadline is Wednesday, 17 th August 2016 at 1700 hours. Final submission deadline is Thursday, 17 th November 2016 at 1700 hours. All respondents should in the first instance contact the Solway, Border and Eden Team on Read the LEADER Applicant Handbook that is available to download from our website ( This explains what applicants must do to apply for a grant, how grant applications are assessed and how to meet the terms of a grant funding agreement if an application is successful. 1

2 Contents Page 1) Call Content 2) Scope of the Call 3) Outputs to be delivered 4) How to apply 5) General information 6) Submitting applications 7) Future Calls 2

3 1. Call Context 1.1. Background The LEADER Programme is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) and is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). LEADER is a French acronym which roughly translates as Liaison among Actors in Rural Economic Development. LEADER is a community based, bottom-up development programme for small rural businesses, communities, and farming and forestry businesses. In England it is being implemented by Local Action Groups (LAGs) - of which Solway, Border and Eden (SBE) is one - and is targeted on specific rural areas with particular needs or priorities as identified through a Local Development Strategy. A Local Action Group is made up of local public, private and civil society representatives, who work together to fund projects that help to improve their local rural community and economy Local Context This call invites applications for investments that establish, grow and sustain micro and small non-agricultural rural enterprises located in the Solway, Border and Eden LAG area. A key aim of the Solway, Border and Eden LEADER Programme is to support significant and sustainable rural economic growth in the local area in a way that respects the local distinctiveness of the area, fully engages local people and builds stronger, more resilient rural communities. A key aim of the Solway, Border and Eden LEADER Programme is to support significant and sustainable rural economic growth in the local area in a way that respects the local distinctiveness of the area, fully engages local people and builds stronger, more resilient rural communities. The rural areas of Solway, Border and Eden (SBE) have comparatively high levels of employment in agriculture, forestry and fishing against the national average. They also have higher than average levels of employment in manufacturing. There are, however, low levels of employment in other important sectors such as information and communications. The majority of businesses in the area are small with 84.4% having less than 10 employees and higher than average numbers of partnerships and sole traders. There is a diversity of business sectors within SBE and this is a key aspect of its resilience. It is important for the SBE LEADER programme to invest in a variety of small and micro enterprises with the potential to grow. In particular, to invest in businesses to create job opportunities, develop more efficient processes and production techniques, and higher quality or better tailored products to add value and exploit new product opportunities. 3

4 2. Scope of the Call 2.1. Purpose of Call This call invites Outline Applications which support the delivery of Objectives 1 and 2 of the Solway, Border and Eden Local Development Strategy. In particular, applications are sought which: Support the growth of micro and small rural enterprises (non-agricultural); Support new business start-ups with capital purchases; Support improvements in productivity and efficiency of micro and small enterprises; Support community and social enterprise start up and expansion particularly to provide rural services. Applicants must demonstrate how their project will provide economic growth and job creation opportunities. For every 10,000 of grant, applicants must be able to create at least 1 new fulltime equivalent sustainable job. The call seeks to encourage applications that provide higher quality or better tailored products to add value and exploit new product opportunities that demonstrate significant increases in gross value added (GVA) and which avoid displacement of other businesses and activity. Applications are also encouraged which create wider benefits for the local community and economy. Projects can demonstrate how they create wider benefits for the local community and economy through: The introduction of green technology creating a significant saving in business running costs and/or which moves the business towards a recognised environmental accreditation; Creation of higher value jobs (in excess of 25,000 p.a.); Creation of employment for young people and disadvantaged groups; Use and promotion of local suppliers including food and drink. Examples of types of investment include: Development of infrastructure such as workshops, factories, facilities - costs of construction or improvement to immovable property; Purchase of equipment and machinery; Processing and marketing of non-agricultural and agricultural products (micro, small and medium sized businesses can be supported in this type of investment); General costs associated with project such as fees, intangible items including acquisition or development of bespoke computer software. Acquisition of patents, licences, copyrights and trademarks. 4

5 2.2. Geographical Scope All activities are confined to activity and benefit occurring in the Solway, Border and Eden Local Action Group geographical area. A list of eligible wards is available on the SBE website ( If you are unsure, please check with the SBE LAG Team Total Funding Available The total grant funding available for this call deadline is 250,000. Funding will be offered to about 15 projects, but the actual number of projects supported may be lower or higher, depending upon the quality, scale and range of the projects coming forward. All applications are competitive. Projects should be for a maximum of three years; however, the LAG reserves the right to vary the maximum duration if required Size of Grants Available Grants will be available for this call from 2,500 up to 200,000 (approximately 142,000 at current exchange rates). State aid rules will apply which may affect the amount of grant offered. Further details on state aid rules are available from gov.uk. Applicants can apply for a grant to cover up to 40% of the project s eligible costs. The minimum total eligible cost of a project for this call would therefore be 6,250. Higher grant rates are available for investments which are non-profit making operations that will not generate an economic gain. However, the operations should be able to demonstrate sustainability after the grant period Call Deadlines This is an open call for 12 months with fixed assessment points at 3 monthly intervals. There is a short initial assessment deadline of Friday, 11 th December at 1700 hours. 3. Outputs to be delivered Applicants need to show how their project will contribute to the achievement of the following outputs: 1. New full time equivalent jobs created (1 full time equivalent = 30 paid hours per week per year on average) 2. Number of businesses assisted 3. Increase in GVA (Gross Value Added) of grant aided business Applicants will need to be able to demonstrate how they will deliver the outputs committed to within the proposal along with any methodology used. All projects will be required to collect 5

6 evidence to show that outputs have been achieved and report progress with each claim. Further details on the evidence required are available through your LAG contact. 4. How to apply There are two stages to the application process. These are: Stage 1: an outline application Stage 2: a full application Further details on how to apply for a grant are given in the LEADER Applicant Handbook which is downloadable from the Solway, Border and Eden website ( along with a template of the Outline Application Form. We strongly recommend that all respondents in the first instance contact the Solway, Border and Eden Team on We can advise you as to whether we think your project idea fits with the Programme s priorities and whether you are in an eligible area and are an eligible applicant. We can also give you advice about completing your outline application. However it is your responsibility as potential Applicant to decide whether or not you are ready to submit an Outline Application Form and all work to this end is undertaken entirely at your own risk. An applicant will only be invited to submit a full application if their outline application is successful. Work must not start on any part of the proposed project before the applicant has received and signed a grant funding agreement from Cumbria County Council. This includes ordering or paying a deposit on materials or equipment. 5. General Information Please refer to the LEADER Applicant Handbook for general information on eligibility, publicity and procurement requirements etc. The LEADER Applicant Handbook is available to download from our website ( We strongly recommend you read this in detail. As an approved project penalties may be enforced for non-compliance with RDPE requirements. 6. Submitting Applications The completed outline application form, in the approved template, should be sent to by the stated deadline. The LAG Team will to confirm that they have received it. Handwritten outline applications or non-excel compatible formats will be returned to you. If an agent is submitting an application on your behalf the agent must ensure you, the applicant, is copied into the submission. Failure to do so will mean the application is returned to you. If a non-compliant submission is made then re-submission is only possible if this is within the specific call deadlines. 6

7 If an application is submitted after an official deadline it will not be considered at this point but at a future deadline should there be one. A decision on whether or not you are to be invited to submit a full application, or feedback as to why a decision has not yet been reached, will normally be communicated to you within 20 working days. 7. Future Calls Further calls for projects will be made in coming months. Details will be released on our website ( as to when these are likely to be open and the types of projects that these calls will cover. 7

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