Eligibility – businesses

LEADER business funding is available for micro businesses in rural areas of the Scottish Borders.  There are two strands to the programme:

1)       Farm business diversification projects, where an existing registered farm business starts or develops a non-agricultural business that will provide an additional income stream to sustain future profitability.

2)       Rural business start-up or development and growth funding, available to new or existing businesses which are either servicing the rural, agricultural or forestry sectors and supply chains, or are located in and will contribute to the economic development of rural areas (and in particular will create rural employment opportunities).    

Business grants from the LEADER programme will be a minimum of £5,000 and a maximum of £50,000 (subject to a maximum €70,000 if lower).  The maximum intervention rate will be 50%, i.e. a minimum of 50% of eligible project costs must be provided by the applicant as match funding.  The total public sector contribution will be at a maximum of 50%, so if a business project were to get additional public sector support the LEADER contribution will be reduced accordingly. 

In all cases the applicant is required to demonstrate that no additional project funding is available, and that the project could not proceed without LEADER funding support.

The full Scottish Government guidance on eligibility will be published on the Scottish Rural Network site.  A microenterprise is defined as an enterprise which employs fewer than 10 persons and whose annual turnover and/or balance sheet does not exceed EUR 2 million or £1.5m.



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