The LEADER approach is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) and is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

CLOSING SOON - Expressions of Interest for LEADER funding must be received by 1st September 2018. 

LEADER grants can support businesses, farmers, foresters, land managers and communities for projects that create jobs and growth and benefit the rural economy.

Funding is distributed through Local Action Groups (LAGs) made up of local people from local public and private sectors and civil society. The word 'LEADER' is a French acronym which translates as 'Liaison among Actors in Rural Economic Development'. Using this approach, LAGs are able to prioritise and tackle important local issues.

So far the programme has granted over £2.5m to 74 local businesses and organisations across the county, creating 155 direct jobs.  There is still funding available, but businesses have only until 1st September to submit an expression of interest.

The County Council has successfully bid for LEADER funding to support activity across the whole of rural Lincolnshire and will distribute funds through four Local Action Groups:

Coastal Action Zone LAG covering the coastal area of East Lincolnshire (north of Boston Borough)

Kestevens LAG covering West Lincolnshire (South of Lincoln)

Lindsey Action Zone LAG covering the Wolds countryside and market towns and West Lindsey

Wash Fens LAG covering South East Lincolnshire

Within the Greater Lincolnshire Area there is also a fifth Local Action Group, Northern Lincolnshire LAG. Contact: Shalon Perkins, North Lincolnshire Council, Tel: 01724 297768

The programme is planned to run for 5 years, or until all funding has been allocated. All project funded expenditure will need to be completed by 30th October 2020.

Applying for Funding

To be successful applications must contribute to one or more of the 6 LEADER priorities:

Support for Micro and Small Businesses and Farm Diversification
Support for Rural Tourism
Increasing Farming Productivity
Increasing Forestry Productivity
Support for Natural and Cultural Heritage
Provision of Rural Services

For details of how to apply for a grant please click here.

Or alternatively please email

Some of the businesses who are already benefitting from LEADER funding speak about their experience on our new case study videos.  You can view these at here.


There are currently three Growth Programme calls available across Greater Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. The links below will contain summary information about these calls:

Business Development

Food Processing

Tourism Infrastructure

Expressions of Interest for all three Growth calls can be submitted until 31 May 2018.

Successful projects must be contracted by 31 March 2019. All contracted projects must be completed and grants fully claimed by 31 December 2020.

For more detailed information on the current RDPE Growth Programme grants, including how to apply, please click here.

A number of promotional events have been taking place through the winter. The final scheduled event in this area, with booking details, is as follows: ​

Tuesday 20 March 2018 – Epic Centre, Lincolnshire Showground, Scampton, Lincolnshire, LN2 2NA 

Countryside Productivity Large Grants

The RDPE Countryside Productivity scheme provides funding for projects in England which improve productivity in the farming and forestry sectors and help create jobs and growth in the rural economy.

Large grants (over £35,000) are available for Forestry Productivity, Water Resource Management, Adding Value to Agri-Food and Improving Farming Productivity.

The deadlines are as follows: 

  • Full applications for Forestry Productivity: 3 April 2018
  • Full applications for Water Resource Management: 29 June 2018
  • Expressions of interest for Adding Value to Agri-food: 29 June 2018
  • Full applications for Improving Farm Productivity: 3 December 2018

For full details on the Countryside Productivity grants, including how to apply, please click here. 

You can contact the RPA on 03000 200 301(Rural Development option) if you would like any further advice after looking at the online information.