Cotswolds LEADER FAQs

Who can apply?

Cotswolds LEADER will fund farmers, growers, foresters, community groups and small businesses (i.e. – businesses with up to 50 employees) where the project is located within the Cotswolds LEADER area.

How can I tell what LEADER area my project falls within?

To check which LEADER Programme the postcode for your project activity falls under simply click on the link below to download the postcode checking spreadsheet, type your postcode in the field and then press the enter key on your keyboard to enter.

 Download the Postcode Search >   or check on MAGIC MAPs >

If your project is in an area not easily pin pointed by a postcode (e.g. if in a field or forest) then the online Magic Mapping Facility can be used instead.  Instructions on how to find and use this can be found on our Local LEADER areas page.

How much can I apply for?

Grants are available from £5,000 to £50,000. For exceptional projects with high job outputs, grants from £50,000 to £100,000 will be considered. This higher amount is only available under Priority 2 “Support for micro & small Businesses and farm diversification”. The grant intervention rate will be typically limited to 40% of total eligible project cost, although some not-for-profit projects could potentially receive a higher amount.

Is match funding needed?

Yes. Commercial projects can apply for up to 40% grant funding, with the remainder being obtained through private funding (public funds cannot be used for this purpose).

Not-for-profit projects may be considered at a higher percentage (depending on the theme and nature of project), though significant match funding will still be required.

Can I apply for capital and revenue costs?

LEADER funds are for capital only. 

Can I apply for second hand equipment?

Yes, but there are criteria that must be met:

You do not need to obtain 3 quotes for second hand items. It is acceptable to submit 1 quote for the second hand item and 2 further quotes for new items as long as they are comparable with each other in terms of item specification and the cost of the second hand item is not in excess of the cost of a new item.

In the Full Application you will need to provide details of any project items that you intend to purchase second hand and explain why you wish to do this.

When you request quotes for the second hand item, you will need to ask the supplier to confirm the following points (provide a copy of the email with your application):

  • detail of the origin of the item and confirmation that during the previous 7 years the item has not been purchased with public funding. If you are unable to obtain this confirmation from the supplier you should make your own enquiries and provide us with a declaration to confirm that to the best of your knowledge, the item has not previously been grant funded;
  • that the item meets health and safety legislation;
  • that the item doesn’t cost more than the market value for new equipment; and
  • that the item is operational and fit for the purpose of the project as described by you to them when you get the quote.

You will also need to confirm that the item specification is equal to or better than a new equivalent version, that it meets the requirements of the project and is expected to last for the duration of any grant agreement that might be offered to you.

You will also need to confirm that the description given to the supplier was consistent with the purpose for the project as set out in your application (you could supply any email you sent to all prospective suppliers asking them to provide a quote that sets out what you want to use the equipment for).

If you are unable to obtain the supplier confirmation with the quote, you must explain why and tell us how you know that the item will meet the criteria as set out above. What other evidence do you have? Please bear in mind that if you do not provide confirmation from the supplier that meets these requirements prior to claiming any grant, we will be unable to make payment. If your second hand item is no longer available at the time we approve your application, you can make a request to use a different supplier, and will need to provide the confirmation from that supplier as set out above with the new quote.

How long does the application process take?

The application process is divided into two stages.

We do recommend completing and emailing through a Project Ideas form to start with as this can help us understand what your project is about.

Firstly, we will ask you to complete an Expression of Interest form (referred to as Outline Application in the Handbook).

The forms can be obtained by contacting the Programme team.

If successful, you will then be invited to complete the Full Application forms.

Being invited to a Full Application does not guarantee that the application will be successful or that the grant level requested at outline stage will be offered. It is an invitation to the next stage of the application process and means that based on the information you have provided so far, we think your project may be eligible for scheme funding.

At this stage you will also be required to provide accurate supporting documents including valid quotes, business accounts, evidence that match funding has been secured, planning and other permissions have been granted (if applicable).

The application process may take at between 5-9 months depending on how quickly applicants are able to complete the full application forms as these will then undergo a series of checks and appraisals before being presented to the LAG Executive at one of the scheduled 6-8 weekly meetings for a decision.

We would always advise that you contact the Programme team for advice prior to submitting an outline application.

LEADER is a competitive demand-led grant programme, and all applications must include a strong business case for investment with timely evidence of market rationale, need for grant, project plan – delivery and outputs, accounts, like-for-like quotations and technical information. As a result, there is no guarantee that your project will be approved for funding.

If successful, is grant funding provided upfront?

No. Grants are paid retrospectively after submitting evidence that costs have been incurred (i.e. – invoice and proof of payment). Funds would be reimbursed at the percentage level of grant funding that LAG has agreed to contribute. For example, if LAG has agreed to provide 40% of project costs, we would reimburse £5000 after receiving evidence of £12,500 spend.

Am I eligible to apply for a grant?

To find out more about eligibility view the Guidance Notes page, or contact our Programme team.

For more information go direct to the Rural Development European Commission website

This project is part financed by the  European Agricultural Fund for European Development 2014-20: Europe investing in rural areas