Rural grants

The Vale of White Horse district has a thriving rural economy, which is home to a diverse range of rural businesses.

The Oxfordshire LEP has published an EU strategy, for more information please visit the Oxfordshire LEP website.

LEADER is a European Commission programme that supports community led local economic development in rural areas. LEADER has done this for several years by working with local action groups to provide funds to rural businesses and community projects.

Organisations and individuals with ideas on how to boost our rural economy are again being encouraged to apply for grants from a new £1.55 millon fund for Oxfordshire, and €2.132 million for North Wessex Downs. Grants are available between 2015 and 2020.

The Oxfordshire LEADER Programme is offering grants to farmers, rural businesses, communities and those managing rural land who have a project that would contribute to one or more of the following themes:

  • Reviving the waterways – specifically the River Thames and Oxford Canal
  • ‘Get growing, get selling and get eating local’ – improving the processing and marketing of local food
  • Unlocking the potential of woodland – actively managing woodland and developing local distribution network for woodfuel, timber and wood products
  • Vibrant villages – creating more economic activity to stop villages becoming dormant with limited opportunities.

Applications need to be based within the Oxfordshire LEADER area – to check if you are in this area please see the LEADER map.

Anyone with a viable idea to boost their local area should email Sophie Milton, call her on 01235 422245 or visit the Oxfordshire LEADER website for more information.

The North Wessex Downs LEADER Programme will focus on six priority areas for investment:

  • Farming productivity
  • Micro and small businesses (including farm diversification)
  • Tourism / the visitor economy
  • Forestry productivity
  • Rural services
  • Culture and heritage

Visit the North Wessex Downs LEADER website for more information.