Grants and LEADER Funding for small and rural businesess

Posted: 6th December 2016

Are you ready to grow your business but need a grant to help?

Now is the time to find out whether there is funding in your area to help you grow your business.

There seems to be a flurry of activity at the moment in calls for projects from the grant-making bodies (probably the last hurrah as Brexit looms because much of this funding comes from the EU).

None of the grants will be 100% (most will require you to invest typically 60% of the total cost), and ALL of them will want you to grow the business and even create a new job or two.

BUT if that is what you are wanting to do it really is worth checking whether there is anything available in your area.

Check out whether there is a LEADER programme in your area (LEADER is specifically for small rural business), A map of all the Leader Projects can be found here and contact details here (or just Google LAG or Leader Group + your area)

Contact your Local Authority (Business Support team), your  Local Economic Partnership (LEP) or your local Business Growth Hub who hold local information on funding and grants and offer business advice.

Example LEADER Project

Please note that although this information is about the Staffordshire Leader programme, there are multiple across England.


leaderStaffordshire LEADER Programme – The next round of funding will open on Thursday 5th January 2017.

Outline applications  will need to be submitted by Sunday 19th February 2017.

If your OA is deemed to be eligible and meets the local priorities of the Staffordshire LEADER Programme, you will be invited to the full application stage.

Please contact the LEADER Programme Team (contact details below) to ascertain if the idea is suitable to make an application for LEADER funding. If the project is seen to meet the LEADER requirements, you’ll be sent an outline application form to complete and return. More information can be found in the LEADER Handbook.

Details of the third bidding round will be published here in early 2017.

Details of how to apply can be found here and should be read in conjunction with the LEADER Applicant Handbook.

If you think your project idea fits within the Staffordshire LEADER Approach and is within the LEADER programme area and you can answer the basic eligibility questions.

 Please contact the Programme Team before completing an Outline Application Form –

The Programme Team will discuss your project idea with you and assess whether it fits within the Staffordshire LEADER Approach. The Programme team will also go through the application process and will explain what is required of you.

Gemma Amphlett

Email: or:


£2.24 million awarded to the Staffordshire ‘Communities Mean Business’ LEADER Programme (2014-2020)

Defra have announced that following a competitive bidding process, the Staffordshire LEADER Local Action Group has been awarded £2.24 million to deliver its 2014-2020 Local Development Strategy across rural parts of the county (Click here to see if you’re in the qualifying area).

This funding will be used to develop projects for local businesses, farms and communities across rural Staffordshire to help improve its rural economy.