Rural development grants available to farmers, foresters,
community enterprises and rural-based businesses.
LEADER is funding to improve the rural economy and quality of life for people living and working in the North Wessex Downs.

Case Studies

The following document:
North Wessex Downs LEADER 2007-2013 - Final Progress Report and Case Studies
gives a number of examples of projects from the last North Wessex Downs LEADER Programme.  We will provide others as we grant funding to new projects.

Little Wittenham Lamb

Little Wittenham LambFarmers Camilla and Roly Puzey sell their lamb to local pubs, schools and the public at local farmers’ markets. They are continually looking for innovative ways to improve their business so applied for a LEADER grant to help buy some equipment.

They were awarded £5,226.56 which equipped a people carrying trailer with a weatherproof canopy for farm visits, bought a second hand mobile chiller display trailer, a silent generator (for markets where no electricity is supplied), some publicity banners and a second-hand gas griddle to cook and sell lamb burgers at farmers’ markets. This enabled them to offer people a wider range of local food and to continue to sell the produce of other farmers in the area.

Manor Farm, Hampstead Norreys – The Betts Family Partnership

Hamstead NorreysThe village of Hampstead Norreys had been without a shop for 11 years before local residents took matters into their own hands.

A £50,000 LEADER grant was awarded to help construct a village community shop out of the existing farmyard and buildings at Manor Farm owned by the Betts family. In addition, a separate LEADER grant of £25,000 supported the fit-out of the shop.

The community shop now provides a ‘social hub’ for villagers, the opportunity to buy good local food without the need of a car and acts as an additional outlet for local Berkshire farmers and producers.

Seasoned Timber Company

Seasoned TimberSeasoned Timber Company Ltd is a wood processing business that was formed by Michael Rowlands and his wife Gill in autumn 2009 to plank and kiln dry timber for woodworking. Recognising the potential to expand their business to include sales of woodfuel (logs and chips), Michael applied for a LEADER grant.

An award of £25,682 (50% of total costs), helped them buy equipment including a firewood processor, a log deck, a log splitter and a wood chipper. As well as being able to grow their business, the project also encourages more effective woodland management since timber is sourced from local estates, farms and woods.

Three Trees Farm

Gary and Sarah McMurray have a small beef suckler herd, a flock of sheep, chickens and a couple of breeding pigs.

A LEADER grant of nearly £14,000 enabled conversion of a an existing farm building to provide a meat cutting room with necessary butchery equipment, a meat storage unit and a poultry dispatch system. From this they have been able to establish a meat box scheme with monthly home deliveries and maintain a presence at farmers markets. Additionally, the Three Trees Farm family partnership was set up, which has allowed the addition of the next generation of the family into the business and now includes Gary and Sarah’s son, daughter and daughter-in-law.

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