Job creation and vastly improved productivity were the main benefits of a LEADER grant awarded to a timber and wood business in Oxfordshire.
David Layton of Layton Timbers has been in the timber and wood business for over two decades, but a couple of years ago faced the issue of not being able to keep up with growing demand.
This is an issue that many rural business owners will face and David did what others can do: he applied for and received LEADER grant funding. The £25,000 he received helped him purchase new machinery.
David says: “Before Leader we had an old tractor-driven log-splitter and it took a day and a half to fill a container. This new cutter, splitter and loader does the same job in half an hour - with a lot less back ache!”
Will Dallimore, LEADER Programme Manager, said: “This was a real transformation. The new equipment made such a big difference and it was great that the LEADER funding led to much more local timber being used as well as creating a new job for a local person. This was clearly worth going through the application process for and I would implore any small rural business to get in touch with us as we can help them secure similar funding amounts for things crucial to their business.”
LEADER is targeting rural businesses with grants of up to £180,000 available for eligible projects. More than £5 million will be available between now and 2020 in the Chilterns, Clay Vales and North & West Northamptonshire areas.