Elements of the Rural Development Programme in England are beginning to re-open to new applications. These are LEADER and the Countryside Productivity Scheme (CPS).
Having been under the same level of uncertainty as other EU-funded rural development schemes, the message from the UK government is that these funding pots will reopen and stay up to the point the UK leaves the EU.
LEADER groups across England have Local Development Strategies which set out the priorities for allocating LEADER funding, whereas CPS is a national scheme. Both schemes, in most cases, have forestry and timber-related activity identified as an area for investment. You’ll need to check to see if you fall within a LEADER area and ensure you project is eligible however, expert help is at hand.
The Forest Advisory Consortium (FACE), of which Sylva Foundation is a member, is a partnership of organisations providing expertise in accessing funding programmes. FACE has been supporting forestry and other rural businesses to successfully access LEADER, CPS and other government funding for a number of years. Examples of projects include mobile sawmilling, seasoning and storage of sawn products, woodfuel production and storage, specialist harvesting, and extraction machinery.
If you have a forestry or rural business and an investment in mind but are not sure if it might be eligible for Rural Development support, get in touch with your local FACE partner to see how they can help. The contact details of all the regional partners can be found at the FACE website. You can also e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet to @forestryace.