The Clay Vales area spans Aylesbury Vale, Rural Milton Keynes and South Northamptonshire, it is predominantly rural with open grassland plains, including a mix of arable and livestock farming as well as a few dairy farms and a growing diversity of rural businesses.
The villages are supported by farmers' markets and a small number of associated tourism businesses.
The LEADER map show the rural areas covered by the grant.
The Clay Vales LEADER priorities are to:
• Enhance Farm Productivity - through supporting alternative on-farm fuel projects (energy crops), projects to improve biodiversity and bio-digestion, and support for collaborative food initiatives
• Support rural Micro, Small or Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) and farm diversification - through supporting on-farm diversification projects or the establishment and growth of rural businesses to provide rural employment, and with a particular focus on local food or forestry based projects, including tourism projects, supporting marketing and processing of grass fed and fattened livestock, encouraging local food networks and supporting local food businesses, helping retail growth and innovation - especially in conjunction with social/community hubs, supporting rural businesses with a strong link to agriculture or forestry
• Support rural tourism - through projects such as the provision of appropriate tourism accommodation - where needed - and the development of sustainable tourism facilities, joint promotion and destination branding, linking farm food, pubs and farmers' markets through existing or new networks, promoting sustainable tourism (cycling/walking etc.)
• 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 and pubs, supporting community transport, and development of village halls and community buildings
• Increase forest productivity - supporting education/tourism linked to woodland, supporting the purchase of shared capital equipment, strengthening links between forestry contractors, woodland owners and other local businesses, supporting low-carbon heating projects, and supporting contractors bringing un-managed woodlands in hand
Please note the Clay Vales 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.