This priority is for:

  • Developing or starting rural micro and small businesses
  • Farm diversification projects

Who: start-up and existing micro and small businesses, social enterprises / farming or horticultural businesses

(To qualify as a micro or small business you should have less than 50 employees and a turnover of less than £7.9 million.)

Grant limits: £5,000 – £100,000 although a higher grant may be awarded for projects that show exceptional value for money.  An exceptional project must show high direct economic outputs or have a strong fit with Oxfordshire LEADER local priorities. Maximum grant rate is 40% towards total project cost.

Please download the Applicant Handbook (PDF 968kb) to find out more about what costs are eligible.


Oxfordshire Local Action Group will be particularly interested in projects that:

  • encourage the reuse of redundant farm buildings to support farm diversification and micro enterprises
  • encourage an increase in the percentage of farm income derived from the marketplace
  • encourage innovative business activity in villages
  • encourage businesses and community enterprises that serve the local community

Some of the projects we funded last time:

Rectory FarmCreation of a dedicated business space to act as a local homeworker’s hub in response to local demand. The business hub is integrated with a new café facility, allowing a local business to expand and to provide a complementary service for users of the space.

Oxford Oak is a small business that makes bespoke outdoor furniture and pergolas from oak. Oxfordshire LEADER awarded a grant for new workshop equipment. With the new equipment Oxford Oak will be able to increase the amount of furniture made, increase turnover and employ a new member of staff, as well as shorten the wood supply chain by seasoning oak on site.

Lily's Farm Shop and TearoomClays farm already sold produce at local markets but they wanted to meet demand and make their foods more accessible to the community. The farm itself was unsuitable for public access so funding was used to start up a farm shop and tea room in the centre of Dorchester. Here they sell produce from the farm and other locally sourced foods to villagers and tourists.
Lily’s Farm Shop and Tearoom

Useful links