This page summarises the key eligibility criteria. For more detailed information on each priority please see the Applicant Handbook.

Project location

Your project must be located in a LEADER area. Parts of Oxfordshire county are covered by the Cotswolds, North Wessex Downs and Chilterns LEADER grant programmes. Please check the following maps to see if your project falls into to Oxfordshire LEADER area:

  • Oxfordshire LEADER Map (PDF 9.5Mb) – the green shade indicates the Oxfordshire LEADER area. The surrounding LEADER areas are also marked.
  • Magic Map – this is an interactive government website which shows the LEADER boundaries area and allows you to zoom in. If you are close to the boundaries please check on here and also contact us to confirm. Download instructions on how to use it here.

 Fit with national priorities

Every project must fit into at least one of the six national priorities. (Click on each priority to find out more).

Provide economic benefits

Projects must benefit the rural economy. This could be by creating new jobs, increasing in business productivity, developing of new markets, increasing visitor spend or providing essential rural services. You will need to show how your project will do this through realistic and measurable outputs, for example the number of new jobs created.

Project start date

Projects cannot incur expenditure or commit to any costs (such as making a deposit or ordering equipment) before a grant offer letter has been issued. Please bear in mind that the application process can take on average four to six months. If your project is due to start much sooner then you maybe be unable to apply but please discuss it with us first.

Grant limits

Grant requests can be for between £5,000 – £100,000 although a higher amount can be requested 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.  The intervention rate will normally be limited 40% but there may be some not-for-profit projects that can apply for up to 100%.  Applicants will need match funding to cover the remaining costs.

Project costs

LEADER grants are mainly for capital costs such as equipment and building work. There are some rare exceptions for revenue costs but please discuss with us to confirm.  More information on eligible and ineligible costs can be found in the Applicant Handbook.

Local priorities

As a competitive process, projects that fit into the local priorities will be favoured and may be able to apply for a higher grant. They are:

  • To grow, sell and eat more local food
  • Create vibrant villages
  • Revive our rivers and canal
  • Unlock the potential of woodlands

Please see the Local Development Strategy to find out more details.

Other things to remember

Grant payments are paid in arrears so applicants need to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to bankroll the project until payments are received. It can take up to 30 working days to process a claim.

Successful applicants will need to follow the terms of a grant funding agreement for the implementation of the project and for five years from the last claim payment. Evidence that the outputs specified in the contract have been achieved will be required and onsite inspections could take place at any time during this period.

LEADER is a competitive process.  If you think that you are eligible then please see our ‘How to apply‘ page for what to do next.