£2.2 million grants for East Yorks farmers

Guy Smith, centre, with Graham Ward (left), Lucinda Douglas(right), vice chair of CWWW and Claire Watts (far right) external funding and policy manager for East Riding County Council
Guy Smith, centre, with Graham Ward (left), Lucinda Douglas(right), vice chair of CWWW and Claire Watts (far right) external funding and policy manager for East Riding County Council

Driffield Show is platform for funding announcement by NFU boss

Rural communities and farmers in East Yorkshire are set to benefit from a grant worth more than £2 million.

The plan to provide the EU money amounting to £2.122 million was unveiled by NFU vice president Guy Smith at the Driffield Show.

He formally launched the new Coast, Wolds, Wetland and Waterways (CWWW) LEADER programme in the Rural Development marquee.

The funding from the Rural Development Programme will run from this summer to 2021 and follows a successful programme which provided £9m in the area from a previous LEADER project.

The CWWW’s local development strategy includes six important local priorities:

· increasing farm productivity

· support for micro, small and start-up businesses and farm diversification

· provision for rural tourism

· provision of rural services

· support for culutural/heritage activity

· increasing forestry productivity

Mr Smith said: “Schemes like this are really important.

“We need to remember that the farming and food and drink industry are the largest manufacturing industry in rural areas and we should never forget the importance of farming in local areas when it comes to local employment.

“The public want to see more British and local food on their plates and farmers link up with the rest of the food chain ro provide added value.

“But it is important that farmers recognise they need to come and find out about Leader and the NFU is in a unique position to do our best to advertise LEADER.

“It is great to see a new programme going forward and we hope to enbcourge members to apply for it and see what it does for the rural economy.”

Graham Ward, chairman of the CWWW Local Action Group, said: This is a vital lever in helping regenerate and renew local communities which do not always attract the high profile and intervention strategies of the UK’s urban areas.”