Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

It’s a century for LEADER

The two LEADER programmes covering West Sussex and the surrounding area have awarded their 101st grant supporting the rural economy and communities.

It means that grants worth more than £1.8 million have been awarded to farms, small businesses and rural communities across West Sussex, Havant borough and Lewes district.

To celebrate the achievement, West Sussex County Council Deputy Leader Lionel Barnard is visiting some of the projects awarded grants. The County Council administers the two LEADER grant programmes.

Lionel said: “Thanks to the funding from the LEADER programmes, the projects supported will help create 86 new jobs, with another 199 safeguarded. It represents a total investment in the rural economy and communities of more than £6.5 million.”

The grants have been awarded by the Sussex Downs and Low Weald Local Action Group (55 grants awarded), and the Three Harbours and Coastal Plain Local Action Group (46 grants awarded), made up of volunteers with experience and knowledge of local rural issues.

Recent applications include:

·          A new farm shop that will help secure the future of a small traditional dairy farm at Southview Farm, Bury
·          A new community run store for the village of Milland
·          A new community allotments site serving the parishes of Ford, Clymping and Middleton-on-Sea

LEADER grants support local ideas and initiatives aimed at improving life in rural areas. Farms and small businesses can apply for grants towards investments to help improve their viability such as equipment, tourism and training.

Community groups can also apply for grants towards a range of initiatives including village halls and community facilities, community shops and conservation and heritage projects.

For further information on LEADER and how to apply for grants, visit the County Council website at www.westsussex.gov.uk/rdpeleader e-mail rdpeleader@westsussex.gov.uk  or contact 01243 756606.

The two LEADER programmes are:

·          The Three Harbours and Coastal Plain Programme, which covers Chichester Harbour and the Coastal Plain from Emsworth across to Angmering.
·          The Sussex Downs and Low Weald Programme, which covers the rural Sussex Downs and Low Weald areas.

LEADER is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), administered by Defra.

Breakdown of LEADER funding to date:

·          £926,866 for 47 farming and forestry projects
·          £330,723 for 21 projects helping small rural businesses and social enterprises
·          £456,476 for 25 community projects
·          £162,894 for eight projects encouraging sustainable tourism

The wide range of beneficiaries have included:

·          28 farm businesses
·          Four vineyards
·          Ten forestry contractors and woodfuel producers
·          20 small rural businesses
·          12 village halls and community centres

Other examples of local LEADER projects can be found on the website at www.westsussex.gov.uk/rdpeleader