Newsflash - LEADER in Lincolnshire has re-opened for EOIs

24th July 2020

The Lincolnshire LEADER fund is now open and accepting Expressions of Interest

The four Lincolnshire LEADER Local Action Groups are pleased to announce a further opportunity for businesses, farmers, foresters and those involved in tourism, heritage and community initiatives to apply for LEADER funding. Grants are available to support projects that will create jobs or growth in the local rural economy. 

• The deadline for submitting an Expression of Interest is Midnight 9th August 2020
• All areas are accepting applications: Coastal Action Zone, Kestevens, Lindsey Action Zone, Wash Fens

Call Information & How to Apply

Potential applicants should carefully read the following information, which is specifically relevant to this call:
• This call is open to applications for the purchase of capital equipment only.  Construction of buildings, development of marketing materials and landscaping will not be accepted.  The guidance in this call overrides the advice given in LEADER Applicant Handbooks where these items are stated as being as eligible for funding.
• You must be able to complete your project by 31st December 2020.  This means all items will have been ordered, delivered and installed. 
• You will be notified of the outcome of your Expression of Interest by 19th August 2020
• If approved, you will be invited to submit a Full Application within 4 weeks   
• Successful applicants will be notified of their grant award by 30th October 2020
• Funding is competitive.   We look for projects that meet the national and local priorities for funding. This means grants are not awarded automatically to all applicants.
• Applications will each be considered on their individual merits and if there are insufficient funds to support all approvable applications, those scoring best in a clear and transparent appraisal process will be offered funding first.

HOW TO APPLY

1. Send an email to LincsLEADER@lincolnshire.gov.uk with the following details:

- Your name
- Your telephone number
- A brief description of what you will use the grant for (for example 'the purchase of a CNC Plasma Cutter and Press Brake)
- The postcode where your project will be based

2. The LEADER team will check that your proposal fits the scheme and send you an Applicant Handbook and an Expression of Interest form to complete.   We may contact you by telephone for an informal chat if we need more details about your project to confirm its fit.

3. Return the completed EOI form to LincsLEADER@lincolnshire.gov.uk  by midnight 9th August 2020

What is LEADER?

LEADER funding is part of the Rural Development Programme for England. It supports projects that create jobs, business growth and benefits to the rural economy.
There are grants available for many different types of activity, but they each support at least one of the 6 LEADER funding priorities

- support micro and small businesses and farm diversification
- boost rural tourism
- increase farm productivity
- increase forestry productivity (not available in all areas)
- provide rural services
- provide cultural and heritage activities

How much funding is available?

The amount you can apply for depends on the size of your business, the type of project and the costs involved.

Grants will typically be limited to a maximum of 40% of the project's total eligible costs. However some types of projects can get higher rates.

You can use other public money to pay for eligible costs – but only up to that maximum percentage. The remaining project costs must be paid for with money from private sources like savings or a bank loan.

Additional Help & Advice

Successful EOI applicants who are invited to submit a Full Application will be offered the opportunity to attend a webinar to help with the development of their application. A choice of dates will be available.

Some of the businesses who are already benefitting from LEADER funding speak about their experience on our case study videos.  You can view these at https://youtu.be/tSZKF8nvl7s.
If you are considering making an application you should note that Full Application stage will involve a rigorous assessment of your project and you will need to submit a comprehensive collection of supporting evidence including:

• Three like for like comparable quotes for every item of expenditure over £1500 (2 quotes for items under £1500). Each supplier's quote must be based on the same specification i.e using the same materials, the same measurements and for items that have the same power/capacity and the same level of functionality

• The last three years financial accounts for your business and any linked businesses OR for a new businesses, latest tax returns (where available) or an opening statement from a qualified accountant

• A quarterly cash flow forecast for the period of project delivery (while you are completing the works and incurring and expending the grant related costs) and a profit and loss forecast for 3 years following completion of the project works. A spreadsheet template will be provided for this.

• Evidence to show that match funding is in place eg a loan agreement, offer of funding or bank statements where "own funds" are to be used. 

• Research to show there is real need and demand for what you want to do

Advice will be provided at applicant webinars to help you gather this information.

Please Note

• Time and costs incurred in the completion of your application are at your own expense and risk.

• Grant payments are made in arrears and you will need to be able to bankroll your project and pay for the items in full before submitting a grant claim.  You will be required to submit documentary evidence to verify this (eg bank statement, overdraft facility). 

• Should your project be approved  you will be required to trade for 5 years from the financial completion date, as stated in your contract, and create all outputs as detailed in your Full Application. Failure to comply with this could result in potential clawback of grant.

Regards
Lincolnshire LEADER Team
On behalf of Coastal Action Zone LAG, Kestevens LAG,
Lindsey Action Zone LAG, Wash Fens LAG
Email: LincsLEADER@lincolnshire.gov.uk
Web:  https://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/grants-funding/leader-funding

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