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EU funding for Essex Businesses

A meeting will take place on 13th June to provide and update and develop this further.  This is an opportunity to get involved and influence the priorities of this new funding. 

ERP will host a meeting on 13th June which will bring together key stakeholders to discuss priorities for the new round of LEADER funding in Essex. 

LEADER funding is accessed through ‘Local Action Groups’, which are area-based, with populations up to 150,000.  At present there are 69 LAGs in existence; there are 91 groups bidding for new funding.  Proposed LAGs in Essex could cover all 9 rural districts in Essex. 


RCCE is co-ordinating the development of an ‘Essex Rivers Local Action Group (LAG)’, which has received support from Defra to form a LAG and prepare a Local Development Strategy. The Essex Rivers LAG will seek to cover rural Chelmsford, Maldon and Rochford and parts of rural Brentwood, Braintree and Colchester. 


Other parts of the county also have potential to benefit:

Eastern Plateau LAG, which worked on the Essex/Herts border previously, is looking to receive further funding and intends to include some of Epping Forest District this time, as well as Uttlesford. 


Two new LAGs are also being initiated across the Essex/Suffolk border: 

Wool Towns LAG will include parts of Braintree and Colchester, whilst a Heritage Coast LAG is hoping to include all of rural Tendring.  If all 4 LAGs are successful, at least part of 9 of the 14 districts in Essex would be covered. 


LAGs are required to write a Local Development Strategy (LDS) which will be submitted to Defra for approval for funding. 

LEADER priorities, published by Defra, are:

·         Support for micro and small enterprises and farm diversification          40%

·         Support for increasing farm productivity                                             20%

·         Support for rural tourism                                                                    20%

·         Support for increasing forestry productivity                                         10%

·         Provision of rural services                                                                   5%

·         Support for cultural and heritage activity                                              5%

Each LAG will base its own LDS on a selection of these 6 priorities, determined by what is important for the local area. 

Within the LDS, the LAG will specify its own priorities for funding/projects and must adhere to these priorities when distributing funding to individual projects. 

Leader has the potential to bring in over £1million per LAG which would benefit local businesses and organisations in the form of grants. 

If you would like to know more, or to get involved, or to attend the meeting on 13th June, please contact Suzanne Harris on 01376 574 330.