Rural areas in Nottinghamshire are to benefit from £3.4m of European funding to support economic growth over the next five years.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has announced that Nottinghamshire County Council-backed bids have been successful in securing funding for areas in the north and south of the county.
It is hoped that the overall investment in the county’s rural economy could top £7.5m, if match-funding is successfully secured.
The money will help deliver projects in rural areas of:
l North Nottinghamshire, covering Bassetlaw, Newark and Sherwood and parts of Mansfield districts.
l South Nottinghamshire, covering Rushcliffe, Gedling and some small areas of the Ashfield districts.
The projects will aim to generate economic benefits and jobs through a range of initiatives, including the development of farming and other rural businesses, promoting tourism, bringing woodland areas into sustainable use and improve services to rural communities, based on local need.
Councillor Diana Meale, chair of economic development committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “In tandem with the rollout of our Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire programme, securing the LEADER funding is a fantastic boost to the rural economy in Nottinghamshire - helping to deliver growth, jobs and new opportunities in rural communities.
“The Government has been very keen to encourage wider LEADER participation in England and with long-held ambitions to stimulate economic growth in rural Nottinghamshire, this was an opportunity we could not miss.”
“We are looking forward to working with all partners to ensure that this is an effective source of support for the county’s rural businesses.”
The North Nottinghamshire scheme will be a continuation of the previous programme (2007-2013), albeit in a slightly expanded area covering a population of 150,000 people, now including some rural parts of the Mansfield district and the market town of Retford.
It is expected to generate a total of £3.75m of growth activity for north Nottinghamshire’s rural communities, once match-funding is secured.
Rob Crowder, chair of the North Nottinghamshire Leader Local Action Group, said: “This is a great opportunity to help local business, farming and forestry to grow. we will be inviting people to apply for funding to support activities across all sectors of the economy. “
The Shadow South Nottinghamshire scheme is worth around £3m, with £1.5m of LEADER funding.
Linda Fitzgerald, chair of the South Nottinghamshire LEADER Local Action Group said funding would be targeted at fulfilling the need for the creation of new, well paid jobs in the rural economy.
She said, “This is where the really hard work starts. The needs and opportunities of the area were mapped out over the summer with events, consultations and surveys. The results then formed the nucleus of our bid and how we planned to support growth in the rural economy over the next five years. Now we need to make this aim a reality and invite applications for grants from businesses and groups to actually do just that.”
Businesses with an idea or project that requires grant support are also advised to get in touch, to assess if their project could be eligible for support under LEADER. Anyone wanting to learn more about the rogrammes should contact:
North Nottinghamshire - Jim Burley, Programme Manager North Nottinghamshire LEADER - 01777 712 711 or email Jim.Burley@bassetlaw.gov.uk
South Nottinghamshire – Mandy Ramm, Nottinghamshire County Council – 0115 977 2685 or email email@example.com