Last chance for rural Peterborough and Rutland organisations to benefit from £1.3m funding pot
Last chance for rural Peterborough and Rutland organisations to benefit from £1.3m funding pot

A final call to action has been issued to organisations in rural Peterborough and Rutland who have been granted an additional two months to apply for grants of up to £50,000 from the LEADER funding programme.

Facilitated by Opportunity Peterborough, LEADER aims to support projects that boost the rural economy – from enhancing tourism and small business growth to aiding the development of agriculture, farm diversification and forestry.

Time is of the essence to get applications in and organisations have been given an extended deadline of 31 August to submit expressions of interest.

Most recently, two Rutland businesses received nearly £100,000 to help them grow:

  • Parker Farms, which is based in Ridlington, was awarded £49,570, to purchase a Direct Drill to improve cultivation and the sustainability of soil
  • Oakham-based Simmons Optometrist received £44,754 to fund an extension to their premises

Simon Thompson, Farm Director for Parker Farms which employs three people in Rutland, said: “The funding is hugely significant for us because it will improve what we do in terms of soil management, allowing us to expand and potentially employ more people. This is good news for us and good news for Rutland because supporting local business benefits the whole local supply chain.”

In the rural Peterborough area, recipients have included Harvest Barn farm shop in Farcet, Northborough Community Association, chilli condiments manufacturer, Kingfisher Chilli, based in Wansford and the White Hart Inn loacted in Ufford.

Opportunity Peterborough, together with Rutland County Council, secured £1.32 million of LEADER funding back in 2015. The fund is administered by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

LEADER is being delivered with support from a Local Action Group (LAG) made up of 14 local volunteers from a variety of sectors and professions. The LAG approves funding for projects with the aim of improving the overall prosperity of the area.

Steve Bowyer, Chief Executive at Opportunity Peterborough, said: “The rural economy is of huge importance to Peterborough and Rutland. Although we have a healthy pipeline of applications at the moment, we don’t want any rural projects or businesses to miss out on a grant before the programme closes. I’d urge any rural Peterborough and Rutland business or community group with plans to grow to contact us quickly to see if they’re eligible for LEADER funding.”

Chair of the LAG, Dennis Stanley, added, “We’re pleased to see more rural businesses benefitting from LEADER funding and would welcome enquiries and applications from any interested parties ahead of the August deadline.”

For more information, visit: or call Opportunity Peterborough on 01733 317417.