A Council-backed £3m scheme to boost rural jobs and economic growth has been launched today.
Cheshire East Council, in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council and Warrington Borough and Trafford Councils, can now announce the official launch of the Cheshire LEADER Programme, which aims to deliver nearly £3m of funding to rural areas of Cheshire, as well as rural parts of Warrington and the Dunham Massey area.
LEADER is part of the Rural Development Programme for England, which is funded by the European Union, with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) as the managing authority.
LEADER aims to help create jobs and stimulate economic growth by providing funding for businesses and organisations looking to begin or expand their operations in the rural area.
What separates LEADER from other funding programmes is that it is delivered locally rather than nationally, with decisions on where the grant money is spent being made by an appointed Local Action Group of key representatives from various organisations in the area, chaired by Councillor Rachel Bailey in Cheshire East and the Rev Canon David Felix in the West.
Cheshire East Council Leader Michael Jones said: “LEADER is a unique and valuable funding stream for rural areas and the Cheshire LEADER team are delighted to be able to start working with potential applicants.
“With each LEADER area having its own dedicated programme manager as well as a Local Action Group, we are able to provide a level of support rarely seen in other funding programmes.”
The scheme will run until 2020, and the Cheshire LEADER team are keen to hear from anyone who wishes to discuss an upcoming project with them.
For more information, or to see if your project might be eligible, visit the Cheshire LEADER website at www.cheshireleaderfund.co.uk or contact Sean Bell, the Cheshire LEADER support officer on firstname.lastname@example.org