The Cotswolds LEADER Programme

The next Round 3 ‘call for projects’ is planned to open as soon as possible in August.

Please note the timing of this call for outline project applications has been delayed due to restrictions put in place by DEFRA/RPA following the EU Referendum.  We expect these restrictions to be lifted shortly.  It is recommended that you regularly review this web page for future updates about the latest LEADER funding opportunities, guidance, and the precise timings of each call.  Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require further information about any aspect of the Programme.

This round will differ to the previous 2 rounds in that the grant minimum has been reduced to £5,000, the maximum still remains at £50,000 (or 40% of eligible costs, whichever is the least).

If you believe you may be eligible to apply for funds after reading the FAQs, Guidance Notes pages and other information on this website, then please contact the Programme team to express an interest in applying.   Outline application forms will be made available at the time the round opens.

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.  Download Project Ideas form >

New guidance documents and application forms may be issued for Round 3 so please make sure you check this website for the latest documents when the round opens.

Please note 

This is a two stage application process.

(1) Firstly, we will ask you to complete an outline application.

(2) 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 whole process is expected to take at least 3-4 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.

If you are using an agent, consultant or business adviser to complete and submit your Outline Application please make sure that they ensure that you as the applicant are copied in on the e-mail, otherwise the application will not be able to be accepted. 

Additional rounds will be opened in 2017 and in future years, so there is plenty of time to scope a suitable project.


LEADER is a competitive demand-led grant programme, and all applications must include a strong business case for investment with evidence of market rationale, need for grant, project plan, accounts, like-for-like quotations and technical information.

Grants are potentially available from £5,000 to £50,000. 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.

All applicant businesses and potential projects must be located within the Cotswolds LEADER eligible area, and all applicants must read the guidance for applicants handbook that details essential eligibility criteria.

Application and guidance documents

Please click on the links below to download each document

> Guidance for Applicants Handbook  (Rounds 1 & 2)

Local Development Strategy

> Map of the Cotswolds LEADER Area  & Postcode Search

LAG Executive Group Members

> Additional Guidance on Eligibilty of Equipment for Farm Productivity and Forestry Applicants

The Principal outputs required for each grant application include number of full-time equivalent (FTE) permanent jobs created and number of businesses or holdings supported. 

> An Explanation of LEADER Outputs 

Jobs Created per £ Grant Allocation Target 

Additional downloads:

Cotswolds LEADER Delivery Plan Summary

European Commission's Agriculture and Rural Development Policy for 2014-2016



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