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?

Grant amounts from £5,000 to £50,000 will be available to apply for. 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), though significant match funding will still be required.

Can I apply for capital and revenue costs?

LEADER funds are for capital only. 

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