How to apply

Expression of interest forms are available to download, along with a guide to completing the form. The West of England Rural Development Programme LEADER fund is currently oversubscribed and will not accept new expressions of interest after the 5th February 2018.

You are strongly advised to contact the programme team by telephone or email before submitting an outline application. They can give advice on your project eligibility, give help with completing the form and explain the processes for full applications.

You are also recommended to download the handbook and use this to guide your project development so it meets the funding criteria of the scheme.

We have an open call for expressions of interest so you can apply at any time. However this may change so it strongly recommended you speak to the programme team to make sure this still remains the case. The website will be updated to reflect any change.

There are two stages to the formal application process

  • Expression of interest (eligibility for funding assessed by WoE RDP staff team)
  • Full application (given detailed appraisal, ranked against other projects, final decision made by LAG).

Expressions of interest will be assessed for completeness and eligibility. If the application is complete and the project is eligible (according to the criteria given in the applicants’ handbook) you will be invited to complete a full application within the allocated time frame. You will be notified within 10 working days of receipt of the expression of interest if you can proceed to make a full application.

If the expression of interest is not accepted, you will be told why and provided with details of how to improve your project should you wish to re-submit.

Full applications and the portfolio of supporting documents, which will include financial accounts, cash-flow projections, quotes for all eligible costs, confirmation of any permissions required and other supporting information will be independently appraised.

Note that we appoint project sponsors to guide you through the process and we strongly advise you make use of the appointed person.

All full applications submitted within a given timescale will be quality checked, scored and ranked according to their strategic fit with national LEADER and local priorities outlined in the Local Development Strategy including value for money, local need, financial performance, sustainability, approach and risk. The highest scoring projects will be recommended for funding; the final decision will be made by the LAG.


The dates below show the minimum length of time for the process for submitting a full application to the potential start date for the project which allows for the processing period of the application. These are fixed points in the process.

Latest Date for receipt
of Full Application
Earliest possible decision making meeting Earliest possible start
date of project
24/10/2017 19/12/2017 15/01/2018
05/01/2018 02/03/2018 16/03/2018
23/02/2018 19/04/2018 04/05/2018

If you would like to discuss your project idea, or how to apply please contact the programme management team.

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