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LEADER funding confirmed!
17th March 2015

Are you a rural business? Dream of expanding? Then follow the LEADER Rural businesses across Sussex get the chance to apply for their share of £3.2m in EU and Government funding this summer.

The LEADER programme, announced by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, will provide grants to small businesses, farmers, foresters and communities for projects that create jobs and grow the rural economy.


Funding has been allocated to two Local Action Groups (LAGs):

  • £1.5m for the Sussex Downs & Coastal Plain LAG - covering rural areas of Chichester District, Arun District and Hayling Island; and
  • £1.7m for the Central Sussex LAG - covering rural areas of Horsham District, Mid Sussex District and Lewes District.


Both LAGs are made up of local people and organisations with knowledge of rural issues and their communities. They will decide which projects to fund. The process will be supported by West Sussex County Council.

Funds will be available to apply for this summer.

It builds on the success of the last LEADER scheme, which supported 153 projects and created 141 new jobs between 2008 and 2013.


West Sussex County Council Leader, Louise Goldsmith, said: “This is fantastic news for the rural economy here in West Sussex.

“We want to get the message out to all rural businesses - and to anyone thinking of setting up their own business – we want you to apply.

“If you have an idea which you think will create a job, or benefit rural communities in any way, get in touch.”


David Hurst, Chairman of Central Sussex LAG, said: “LEADER is local people making sure that the money from Brussels goes direct to the grassroots of our countryside.

“Our area stretches from Pulborough in the west to Horsted Keynes in Mid-Sussex and Firle in Lewes district.

“There are thousands of small businesses included there, and not just farmers and foresters.”

He added: “Country people making their own way, often using the products of our area, can get direct help from LEADER to provide local jobs and boost the local economy.”


Norman Dingemans, Vice-Chairman of Sussex Downs and Coastal Plain LAG, said: “The last LEADER programme was a great success and I am sure this new project will be just as successful in helping new businesses start up and existing businesses grow and create more jobs.”


To find out more about the LEADER programme click here.

Alternatively you can e-mail:  rdpeleader@westsussex.gov.uk

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