The North and West Northamptonshire LEADER area is a predominantly rural, sparsely populated space situated in the heart of England.

It is known as the 'Gateway to the East Midlands' and enjoys strong international road, rail and air connections. The area is distinctly bordered by river valleys - the Welland to the north and the Nene in the south - while much of its northern half lies within Rockingham Forest.

The LEADER map show the rural areas covered by the grant.

The North and West Northamptonshire LEADER priorities are to:

• Enhance Farm Productivity - through supporting enhanced water management by irrigation and water reservoirs, and improving soil management through GPS-based projects

• Support rural Micro, Small or Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) and farm diversification - through supporting the conversion of redundant farm buildings to productive use, adding value through processing, promoting locally produced food, drink and woodland products, adding value to existing processing and/or manufacturing businesses, supporting food hubs and farmers' market supply chains

• Support rural tourism - through projects such as promoting locally produced food and drink, supporting projects that extend the tourism season through promoting new tourism activities, projects that promote and develop the 'staycation'/family visitor market, and bird-watching experiences

• Support the provision of rural services - particularly where those services have a quantifiable positive impact on the rural economy through the creation of jobs and growth, for example: village shops with additional services (e.g. Post Office), supporting 'pub is the hub' projects, and supporting village-based child crèches;  Support for cultural and heritage activity - supporting local festivals and fayres, developing heritage trails across the area, and supporting developments at heritage sites - especially where these have an economic impact locally

• Support for increasing forest productivity - supporting a range of projects such as: timber production and marketing, harvesting, extraction and secondary processing, wood-fuel stores and delivery mechanisms such as chip-blower lorries, firewood production and the development of supply chains, producing local woodland products and the processing and marketing of wild venison

Please note the North & West Northants LAG has a policy of prioritising first time applicants. Repeat LEADER applicants will have to demonstrate that exceptional benefits would arise from any second or subsequent projects. If you are considering applying to LEADER for a second time, please call to discuss your project with the team prior to submitting an Outline Application.

Useful Downloads/Pages:

North and West Northants Local Development Strategy document

• North and West Northants Local Action Group

North and West Northants Applicant Handbook

• Appeals Guidance Form

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01494 927167

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