West Norfolk businesses and community groups invited to find out about funding available

12 June 2018

Businesses and community groups in west Norfolk are invited to find out about funding available through two initiatives managed by Norfolk County Council at a drop-in event in Downham Market on 20 June.

People will have a chance to talk to advisers about their project ideas and find out whether they qualify for funding from the LEADER and LIFT programmes.  LEADER (Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l'Économie Rurale) is targeting businesses of any type as long as they have less than 50 staff, while LIFT (Local Investment in Future Talent) is looking for applications from community and networking organisations.

Cllr Keith Kiddie, Chair of Norfolk County Council’s Business and Property Committee, said:  “With around £1m still available for west Norfolk businesses through these programmes, this is an important source of funding to help deliver new jobs and grow the rural economy.

“I’d urge businesses and community groups to go along to the event with their project ideas to find out if they are eligible and what the next steps are.”

This funding is from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) delivered via Defra.  In the UK this fund is managed by the Rural Payments Agency and distributed via the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE).

The Local Action Groups (LAGs) deliver the funding using an approach which decentralises the decision and funding powers allowing the partnership to support the rural economy at a local level.  The LAGs comprise representatives from businesses, community organisations and public authorities, and aim to help micro and small businesses and community organisations create and sustain employment within their respective areas.

We’re Wereham, We’re Together secured LEADER funding to build a new, larger, eco-friendly and financially self-sustaining hall with full disabled facilities.  It will be the one of the UK’s first accredited Passivhaus village halls and will provide a multi-use hireable space for groups and organisations to offer activities such as youth groups, village cinema and social activities for older people.

Victoria Gray from We’re Wereham, We’re Together said:  “LEADER funding is enabling our charity to meet the needs of our community and local businesses.  The new activities and services will improve people’s wellbeing; the facilities and equipment will help increase productivity for local businesses; and the building enhances the environment with its ecological Passivhaus design.

“Funding applications can feel daunting but we found the LEADER team supportive from day one.  They visited us on site, taking their time to explain and give guidance to enable us to complete the applications on time.”

Other projects to receive funding through the West Norfolk LAG include:

  • Facilitate Training Manager - based in Wereham, the purpose of this project is to create a bespoke system that will enable businesses to manage their staff training needs more effectively. LEADER funding is enabling Facilitate IT Ltd to recruit two members of staff as well as improve the skills levels of rural business that purchase their system
  • Kickstart - based in Dereham and supporting people in Downham Market.  This project is enabling the Kickstart Charity Rural Scheme to purchase 12 mopeds per LAG to help people seeking work, for whom transport is a barrier to employment, get to interviews or training.
  • Foras Growth Development - based in Stowbridge, this project is funding the construction of a new multi-purpose store and workshop, to enable the business to bring some of the manufacturing side of the business to Norfolk from India and introduce local materials.  This will result in job creation and business growth.
  • River Meadow Farm - based in Hilgay, this project is for the purchase of an integrated sheep handling system, which features weighing and sorting facilities, as well as tag-reading technology. This will allow the best performing sheep to be identified to allow breeding from the most disease-resistant, functional and best-growing animals

Businesses and community groups based in west Norfolk and wishing to find out more about the funding available should go along to the event, which is from 4-7.30pm in the Clock Room at the Town Hall in Downham Market (6 Market Place, Bridge Street, PE38 9DE) and there is no need to book.

Notes

The Local Action Groups (LAGs) deliver this funding under the ‘LEADER’ approach, which means that LAGs enlist the energy and resources of local people and organisations in public, private and third sectors, through forming a partnership.  This decentralises the decision and funding powers to the local level presenting a ‘bottom-up’ approach.

The five respective LAG areas comprise:

  • The Brecks (including parts of northern Suffolk)
  • The Broads
  • Wensum and Coast
  • Waveney Valley (including parts of northern Suffolk)
  • West Norfolk

LEADER ("Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l'Économie Rurale"), meaning 'Links between the rural economy and development actions'), is a ‘bottom-up’ approach which enlists the energy and resources of local people who come together as an empowered group to develop an area.

This funding is from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) delivered via Defra.  In the UK this fund is managed by the Rural Payments Agency and distributed via the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE).

The overarching aims of the programme are to:

  • Contribute towards improving the environment and the quality of life in rural areas
  • Strengthen the rural economy by helping micro and small businesses to create and sustain employment within the area
  • Improve competitiveness, particularly in the agriculture and forestry sectors

More information can be found at www.norfolklags.co.uk.

Local Investment in Future Talent (LIFT) is funded by the European Social Fund and is a skills and employability grant scheme for rural Norfolk and north Suffolk.  More information is available at www.liftprogramme.co.uk or by emailing the LIFT team at lift@norfolk.gov.uk.

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