Grants for rural businesses on offer

Chef Rob Thornett, owner Richard Hilsdon and head butcher Philip Hilsdon at Boycott Farm Shop

Chef Rob Thornett, owner Richard Hilsdon and head butcher Philip Hilsdon at Boycott Farm Shop

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Rural businesses are invited to apply for grants of up to £50,000 from LEADER, which has more than £5 million on offer between now and 2020 in the Chilterns, Clay Vales and North & West Northamptonshire LEADER areas.

LEADER is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE). The LEADER programme has been designed to promote micro and small business growth. It is focused on rural areas supporting small rural companies, farm diversification projects, forestry projects, tourism projects, rural services and cultural and heritage projects.

Boycott Farm Shop, at Stowe, benefited from a £45,000 LEADER grant during the last round of LEADER funding in 2011.

Owner Richard Hilsdon said: “On high days and holidays, the tea room gets very busy. It’s great but back in 2010 we were running out of space.

“The LEADER grant helped us purchase equipment, a new marquee and building material. The tea room now opens onto a new terrace which offers fantastic countryside views.”

For more information, visit www.leader-programme.org.uk or call 01494 568969.