The Heart of Wessex LAG has supported a number of projects during the current LEADER programme.  Information on supported projects can be found on our Approved Projects page.  We have also received some fantastic reviews from projects who have received grant funding through the Heart of Wessex.  Their testimonials can be read here

Our Projects

All projects must be economically viable and environmentally sustainable. 70% of all projects must directly support the rural economy (e.g. through creating jobs and creating micro and small sized rural businesses). The remaining 30% of projects will also need to demonstrate that they are contributing to improving the local rural economy by, for example, by increasing visitors to a particular area or providing an essential rural service.

Farms and forestry businesses will be able to apply to Heart of Wessex in the next programme. We would like to hear from farmers and foresters about the investments they would like to make which will help their farm businesses run more efficiently or even expand to employ more people, including family members. Funding will be for a variety of things, such as projects that improve the performance of the holding, address animal health, improve processing or marketing or reduce energy or water use.

Funding will be available for the following priorities:

1. Support to increase farm productivity

2. Support for micro and small business and farm diversification

3. Support for rural tourism

4. Provision of rural services

5. Support for cultural and heritage activity

6. Support for increasing forestry productivity

For more information on the types of projects we can support, please download our Local Development Strategy.

If you’d just like an informal chat about an idea for a project please contact our Programme Management Team – We want to hear your ideas and particularly welcome innovative and collaborative projects.

Is your project eligible?

Check your project idea is eligible against the criteria below:

  • Is the project based within the Local Action Group area?
  • Are you a farmer, grower, forester, local rural business or community organisation?
  • Is your organisation a private, public, or voluntary organisation? or are you someone who wants to start a business?
  • Does your business employ fewer than 50 employees and have a turnover of less than €10 million?
  • Have you (or your business) received public funding of less than €200,000 within the past 3 years?
  • Does your project fit under one of the national LEADER priorities (above)?
  • Does your project fit into our local priorities outlined in our Local Development Strategy?
  • Does your project help support the local economy by creating jobs or improving productivity?
  • Is your project innovative and seek to bring wider economic benefits to the LAG area?
  • Is your project yet to start? and will it be completed by December 2020?
  • You are seeking financial support for a capital items only?

If your answer is “Yes” to all of the questions above you could be eligible for funding – please contact our Programme Management Team now!

There are some costs that are ineligible for support, and they cannot be included as match funding. A few examples are listed below: (the scope of LEADER is very broad, so it’s impossible to list everything here – if you need clarification, please contact our Programme Management Team)

  • costs for standard agricultural equipment and inputs, like animals and annual crops
  • cost of agricultural production rights and payment entitlements
  • cost of getting any consents needed, for example planning permission
  • costs for anything that’s a standard industry obligation, for example requirements of the Basic Payment Scheme
  • costs that are incurred before the date of the grant funding agreement
  • financial charges, such as interest, fines and maintenance
  • reclaimable VAT
  • any items the applicant already gets EU or national funding for
  • projects the applicant is required to do by law or to meet a legal requirement
  • like-for-like replacements
  • costs connected with a leasing contract, such as lessor’s margin, interest refinancing costs, overheads and insurance charges
  • salaries, running costs
  • relocation of the business
  • own labour
  • licence fees, subscriptions and service charges
  • standard computer and mobile equipment
  • costs for renewable heat and energy systems covered by the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) or Feed-In Tariffs (FITs)
  • projects based on broadband or super-fast broadband provision