The BNED LEADER Approach is now open for business and invites projects to apply for funding

The BNED LEADER Local Action Group (LAG) has been awarded €1,713,000 of European Agricultural Fund For Rural Development (EAFRD) through the Rural Development Programme for England for the funding of rural projects in the local area. This represents a Sterling equivalent of approximately £1,370,000 (this figure may alter in line with Euro exchange rates).

Funding will still be available until such time as the UK exits the European Union.

Rural services0310To raise the profile of the area and to ensure it is attractive for residents, businesses and visitors. These projects will hope to link tourism providers, extend the tourism season and encourage visitors to stay by providing high quality recreational and tourism enterprises.

The objective of this funding measure is to develop the visitor offer to enhance the quality, value and further growth potential of tourism to the local economy.

By growing the quality of the visitor offer through supporting events, festivals, attractions and accommodation, it is the aim of this LEADER programme to develop the tourism sector and attract overnight visitors and the added economic benefits they bring.

The potential for job creation, both directly and indirectly and the benefits to the surrounding local economy are considerable. The programme will therefore encourage projects that will deliver this through the following examples;

  • Accommodation upgrades and new development - hotels, B&Bs, hostels, yurts etc
  • Shops, catering services, restaurants and cafes
  • Use of IT and e-booking systems
  • Investment in green infrastructure e.g. cycle ways
  • Signage and interpretation linked with local food and drink and the natural/built environment
  • Visitor attractions, destination marketing and promotion
  • Events and festivals

Who can apply for grant funding?

  • Business people & entrepreneurs (either unemployed people, new businesses, or existing businesses) particularly in the following business sectors: tourism, accommodation, visitor attractions and food & drink
  • A community group that wants to invest in small-scale infrastructure to support and develop tourism
  • A group of rural tourist businesses working together to develop groups of activity

What will be achieved?

The outcomes that would be expected to be achieved from funded projects will include;

Increased quality of tourism and related businessesIncreased quality of visitors to the area from low-level spending day visitors to higher spending overnight visitorsIncreased diversity of tourism and related business/infrastructureIncreased number of tourism related jobs

How much grant funding can you apply for?

The LAG has determined within the Local Development Strategy to allocate 23% of the total funding. This equates to €323,073.

The maximum amount you can apply for is 40% of the overall project costs up to a maximum of €200,000. The remaining 60% must be private match which means you cannot use other public funding, such as Lottery funding and other European funding.


Depending on the level of grant requested, we will expect eligible grant recipients to achieve some of the following:

a) Number of new tourism actions supported - 8

b) Additional number of overnight visitors - 2,461

c) Employment Created - 15