Ford, Climping and Middleton benefit from grants

NEW allotments for villagers of Ford, Climping and Middleton and a shop to help keep a Bury farm in business are among the latest ventures supported by two schemes celebrating a century of grants.

An estimated 86 jobs have been created and a further 199 safeguarded by the two LEADER programmes for West Sussex and the surrounding area, boosting the rural economy and communities.

Together they have now passed the milestone of 100 grants totalling more than £1.8m, awarded to farms, small businesses and rural communities across West Sussex, Havant borough and Lewes district.

The funds have been awarded by the Sussex Downs and Low Weald Local Action Group (55 grants awarded), and the Three Harbours and Coastal Plain Local Action Group (46 grants awarded), made up of volunteers with experience and knowledge of local rural issues.

Among the latest projects to be approved are the new farm shop that will help secure the future of a small, traditional dairy farm at Southview Farm, Bury, and the community allotments site serving the parishes of Ford, Climping and Middleton.

Farms and small businesses can apply for grants towards investments to help improve their viability, such as equipment, tourism and training.

Community groups can also apply for grants towards a range of initiatives including village halls, community shops and conservation and heritage projects.

For more details on LEADER, visit the county council website at www.westsussex.gov.uk/rdpeleader.