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Key information for applicants

Key information for applicants

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Key information for applicants

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  1. Key information for applicants

  2. The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) is funded by Defra and the EU. The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD): Europe investing in rural areas Kent Downs & Marshes Leader is also funded by: Kent Downs & Marshes Leader is also supported by: 1

  3. What is the RDPE Leader Programme? The RDPE Leader Programme is a European Union rural funding approach, with grant money available from late 2008-2013. • In the Kent Downs and Marshes (KD&M) Leader area the funding is designated to: • Add value to local products (with particular focus on the land-based sector) • Foster sustainable rural tourism (building on the unique landscape-asset base of the area) • Assisting rural communities (including businesses) in managing change. Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) Leader is a way of spending money on local issues, identified by people living in that local area. This bottom-up identification of local problems leads to locally tailored opportunities based on the social, economic, environmental and land based needs of the Leader area. The money is locally controlled, with decisions about which projects are funded being made by the Local Action Group (LAG). The Kent Downs and Marshes LAG is made up of representatives from organisations from across the Kent Downs and Marshes Leader area. Final decisions are made by the LAG Executive, which is a board made up of 5 public sector and 6 private sector organisations, representing the interests of the whole rural community. The Local Development Strategy (LDS) sets out the funding priorities for the Kent Downs and Marshes Leader area . To access Leader funds, rural businesses, farmers, foresters, growers, environmental organisations, landowners, cultural, heritage and community providers as well as voluntary and charitable organisations should and need to think of projects to assist, strengthen and develop themselves, and the rural community. 2

  4. Where is the Kent Downs and Marshes area? Kent Downs and Marshes Leader funding is only available to projects based within the Kent Downs and Marshes area: Projects in West Kent area may be eligible for funding from the West Kent Leader Programme. Contact details for the West Kent Leader Programme can be found on the Useful Information page. If you are unsure about your eligibility, please use the eligibility-postcode checker on the SEEDA website at: http://www.seeda.co.uk/RDPE/Leader/index.asp 3

  5. Applying for RDPE Leader funding Applying for Leader funding is a straight forward process: Before Leader Look at eligibility and the LDS+ to see if the project fits Identifies viability, costs, Legislation* Idea Expression of Interest and Application Programme Staff will review EOI, and work with Applicant to complete an application form Complete and return an Expression of Interest (EOI) form Contact the Kent Downs and Marshes Leader Programme Idea Appraisal and Decision Decision made by LAG Executive Panel¤, followed by approval from SEEDA Application appraised by Appraisal Panel. Recommendation made to LAG If approved, offer letter sent and Applicant can begin the project. *Planning requirements, health and safety, hygiene rules etc. ¤ Note, due to a limited budget, this is a competitive process and not all projects will be funded. +Local Development Strategy see the Useful Information Page 4

  6. About RDPE Leader Funding The KD&M Local Action Group has a total of £1.8m of funding available to distribute over the entire project period of 2008-2013 The LAG’s money is divided up into a number of smaller pots known as “measures,” and each measure effectively represents a particular theme of the LAG’s development priorities. These measures are set out on the Measures and Intervention rates page. It is essential that projects are written in such a way that they can be shown to fit in to these measures, otherwise the LAG cannot fund them. The ingredients of a good Leader project page illustrates some of the things you will need to consider when putting together your project All projects receiving LEADER funding will need to provide a degree of “matched funding” from a private source to make up the full project amount. The percentage of the total project that LEADER can fund (known as the intervention or support rate) depends upon the measure that is being claimed against. These rates are set out on the Measures and Intervention rates page It is worth noting that under some circumstances, contributions “in kind” can be used towards the match funding. Applicants should discuss this possibility with Programme Staff if they are considering it, as certain conditions apply. Leader can only fund grants up to a maximum of £50,000. For grant applications larger than this applicants can contact SEEDA directly to apply for other RDPE funding. It is important to note that the LEADER programme can only refund expenditure that has been made. It can not provide up-front funding. Applicants will need to ensure that they have sufficient liquid assets to cover their expenses until their expenditure is refunded. Please contact the Programme Staff for more information on this issue. 5

  7. Measure 122 – Improving the economic value of forests ()= Indicative intervention rate, Please see Chapter 5 RDPE programme document for more detail Measures and Intervention rates (50-60%) These are the measures and some ideas about the types of project Leader can fund. For more detail please see Chapter 5 RDPE programme document, or talk to programme staff - in-forest activities up to and including harvesting and thinning. - producing the management plans linked to this measure. Measure 123 – Adding-value to agricultural and forestry products Measure 312 – Support creation and development of micro businesses (20- 50%) (50%) - retailing, manufacturing or service industries, environmental services, renewable energy* - processing, marketing, and development of new products, processes and technologies, for agricultural and forestry products* Measure 311 – Diversification into non-agricultural activities Measure 124 – Co-operation for the development of new products Measure 322 – Village renewal and development (50%) (up to 100%+) - capital investment, start-up revenue costs, market research and feasibility studies, marketing support, product development, branding and design costs - small-scale infrastructure projects to develop or enhance village and community spaces and building, networking social enterprises, community facilities. - costs of collaboration between two or more producers, processors or other enterprises • development • and marketing of tourism services relating to rural tourism Measure 313 – Encouragement of tourism Measure 321 – Basic services (up to 100%+) (up to 100%+) - cultural and leisure activities, development of community buildings, community enterprises, energy services, shop/retail services, support for community ICT for benefit. Measure 323 – Conservation and upgrading of rural heritage - environmental awareness actions and investments to maintain, restore and upgrade natural and cultural heritage (up to 100%+) + 100% grants are only provided in exceptional circumstances * Specific restrictions apply, see Chapter 5 RDPE programme document 6

  8. What are the “ingredients of a good Leader project?” In order to give a project the best possible chance that their project will be funded, it is essential that the project meets all of the following requirements: Fits the vision Can fit into the Leader measures Sustainable Can continue after the funding is finished It is allowed It can be done under RDPE rules* Match funding Good evidence that the money is there It is needed It can be shown that it will make a difference Value for money It is the best way of doing it financially It will work It is well thought out, and feasible Innovative It is not already being done nearby * See the Useful Information Page for RDPE rules 7

  9. Useful Information and Contacts Contacts Kent Downs and Marshes Website Kent Downs and Marshes Area: Huw Jarvis/Richard Hall (01622) 696940 / 221389 Huw.jarvis@kent.gov.uk / Richard.hall@kent.gov.uk http://www.kentruralnetwork.org/leader Kent Downs and Marshes Local Development Strategy West Kent Area: Caroline Lingham (01732) 227000 westkentleader@sevenoaks.gov.uk http://www.kentruralnetwork.org/useful-publication/LDS Key Information Rural Development Programme for England 2007-2013 Programme Document http://www.defra.gov.uk/rural/rdpe/progdoc.htm EU Rural Development policy 2007-2013 http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/rurdev/index_en.htm UK RDPE Leader Network (to be updated) http://www.ukleader.org.uk/ SEEDA RDPE Information http://www.seeda.co.uk/RDPE/ 8