Farming, Forestry and Rural

Business Advice for Farmers

Useful links

Leicestershire Rural Partnership

The Leicestershire Rural Partnership (LRP) comprises 22 diverse organisations who work together to improve the quality of life of those living and working in rural Leicestershire.

It aims to deliver a better quality of service to rural areas and to use public money and other resources more effectively. The LRP includes many of the key organisations delivering services to rural Leicestershire

Executive Summary giving an analysis of the County's rural economy and the contribution it makes in each District

Culture and Rural Development in the East Midlands

New service providing information about cultural projects and organisations in rural parts of the East Midlands.

Funding Sources

There are a number of grants and funding opportunities available for rural businesses, please use the link below to access some of them

Via Leicestershire Rural Partnership

Leicestershire Rural Partnership's (LRP) INSPIRE scheme (Investment Support in the Rural Economy) aims to support farmers, equestrian businesses, landowners, business partnerships, small accommodation providers and tourist attractions in rural Leicestershire and its market towns.If you own or lease a property that is currently redundant or has unusable floor space that could be converted into additional workspace, then you could be eligible for Leicestershire Rural Partnership's (LRP) workspace development grant


RDPE is available for businesses involved in:-

  • Farm Diversification

  1. Retail (e.g. locally sourced produce including butchery facilites and specialist equipment),
  2. Service industries (e.g. renovation of farm buildings to provide office space, meeting rooms and creche),
  3. Self-made products (e.g. ice-cream production, farm restaurant) and
  4. Environmental services (e.g. development of a recycling centre, creating new products and additional income from local waste)
  • Renewable Energy

  1. Heating and power generation fuelled by biomass, solar, hydro or wind
  2. Anaerobic digestion
  • Improving the economic value of forests

  1. Harvesting, production and marketing of timer products
  • Adding value to agricultural, livestock, horticultural and forestry products

  1. Meat
  2. Milk
  3. Grain processing
  4. Grain products
  • Cooperation for the development of new products

  1. Establishing cooperative business activities
  2. Developing a new supply chain
  3. Farmers cooperating to set up new processing and abattoir facilities
  • Water resource and nutrient managment

  1. Improvement of irrigation
  2. water catchement, harvesting and treatment
  3. Winter storage reservoirs
  4. Nutrient testing
  • Vocational training and skills

  1. Management skills
  2. ICT & new technology
  3. Animal health & welfare
  4. Benchmarking
  5. Resource efficiency
  • The LEADER approach (in selected areas)

  1. Diversification
  2. Creation of micro-enterprises
  3. Encouraging rural tourism
  4. Conservation and upgrading of rural heritage & culture
  5. Provision of training and information

More information can be obtained from the web site or from the RDPE team at emda (tel. 0115 947 1797 or

Via National Forest Schemes

Parts of Charnwood are within the National Forest. There are a number of forestry schemes that may be of interest:-

  • Changing Landscapes Scheme (CLS)

Woodland creation scheme for landowners within the National Forest who are willing to turn more than 1 hectare (2.5 acres) over to woodland. There is also a scheme for smaller areas (Freewoods)

  • Making Woods Work

This scheme provides advice to new or prospective woodland businesses that wish to diversify, expand or start. Whilst it does not itself provide funding, it does provide advice as to the grants available as well as training through seminars and bespoke courses. For more information contact Ben Scotting on 01283 551211 or 01765 609355, mobile 07957 172021 or e-mail)

Forestry Micro-Enterprise Grant is aimed at forestry and woodland related businesses or businesses wanting to invest in woodfuel technology. The project size must be £5000 to £50000 and the grant offered will be 40-50%. It is part of the RDPE programme described above. Full details.