Rural grants

The South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse districts have a thriving rural economy, which is home to a diverse range of rural businesses.

LEADER is a European Commission programme that supports community led local economic development in rural areas. LEADER has done this for several years by working with local action groups to provide funds to rural businesses and community projects.

Organisations and individuals with ideas on how to boost our rural economy were encouraged to apply for grants from a new £1.55 millon fund for Oxfordshire, and €2.132 million for North Wessex Downs.

The Oxfordshire LEADER Programme offered grants to farmers, rural businesses, communities and those managing rural land who have a project that would contribute to one or more of the following themes:

  • Reviving the waterways – specifically the River Thames and Oxford Canal
  • ‘Get growing, get selling and get eating local’ – improving the processing and marketing of local food
  • Unlocking the potential of woodland – actively managing woodland and developing local distribution network for woodfuel, timber and wood products
  • Vibrant villages – creating more economic activity to stop villages becoming dormant with limited opportunities.

Applications for the Oxfordshire LEADER programme are now closed. Visit the website for more information.

The North Wessex Downs LEADER Programme focused on six priority areas for investment:

  • Farming productivity
  • Micro and small businesses (including farm diversification)
  • Tourism / the visitor economy
  • Forestry productivity
  • Rural services
  • Culture and heritage

Applications for the North Wessex Downs LEADER programme are now closed. Visit the website for more information.