£3 million Cheshire Leader Programme 'open for business'

23 November 2015

West Cheshire businesses and organisations can now apply for a slice of £3 million funding for rural areas aimed at creating jobs and stimulating economic growth.

Cheshire West and Chester Council, in partnership with Cheshire East, Warrington and Trafford Councils, have launched the Cheshire LEADER Programme, which aims to deliver around £3 million of funding to rural areas of East and West Cheshire, as well as rural parts of Warrington and the Dunham Massey area.

LEADER is part of the Rural Development Programme for England which is funded by the European Union, with Defra as the managing authority. 

It aims to help create jobs and stimulate economic growth by providing funding for businesses and organisations looking to begin or expand their operations in the rural area.

What separates LEADER from other funding programmes is that it is delivered locally rather than nationally, with decisions on where the grant money is spent being made by an appointed Local Action Group of key representatives from various organisations in the area, chaired by Councillor Rachel Bailey in the East and Rev. Canon David Felix in the West.

Councillor Brian Clarke, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “The Cheshire LEADER team are ready to start developing projects with potential applicants as well as working with the expertise offered by the Local Action Groups to ensure the money is put to the best possible use.

“The team have worked extremely hard to secure the funding and get everything in place; they are now open for business.” The programme will run until 2020, and the Cheshire LEADER team are keen to hear from anyone who wishes to discuss an upcoming project with them. For more information, or to see if your project might be eligible, visit the Cheshire LEADER website at www.cheshireleaderfund.co.uk or contact Sean Bell, the Cheshire LEADER Support Officer on sean.bell@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk.

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