RURAL businesses are being urged to bid for a share of a £1.6m fund.
Businesses in the Winchester district, which includes Wickham, Bishop’s Waltham and Denmead, have until the end of August to secure a share of the LEADER fund from the Fieldfare Local Action Group.
The scheme supports projects that create jobs and support the rural economy.
Businesses can get up to £100,000 and 40 per cent grant funding for projects such as purchasing a new piece of equipment.
One business which has recently benefitted from LEADER funding is independent café and shop Sweet Corner in Bishop’s Waltham which used the fund to purchase new equipment.
Sophie Pritchard, owner of Sweet Corner, said: ‘This funding meant we could make a big splash when we re-opened Sweet Corner in new premises, because we installed lots of new equipment ready for the launch.
‘The coffee machine in particular has been a fantastic investment – without the grant we couldn’t have afforded to buy it.’
For more on the scheme, run by Winchester City Council, Eastleigh Borough Council, East Hampshire District Council and the South Downs National Park Authority, go to Fieldfareleader.org.uk