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Case studies

Find out more about how LEADER funding is helping to develop local businesses.

Hanwell Wine Estate – new ‘Rural Antics’ barn

Hanwell Wine Estate - new 'Rural Antics' barn

Hanwell Wine Estate, based in Hickling Pastures, Rushcliffe, secured a £16,000 LEADER grant to convert a barn and stable into a new classroom offering rural craft activities and workshops to attract visitors to the area.

The new classroom will be open throughout the year, helping to attract more visitors and spend to the area.

Delegates attending one of the Rural Antics workshops will be able to enjoy food prepared using local produce and a glass of wine from the Hanwell vineyards.

Helenka Brown, owner of Hanwell Wine Estate, Rural Antics barn said: “The application process is understandably in-depth and very thorough, with excellent support from the LEADER representatives from start to finish. I would suggest applying only if you have a project in mind where the additional finance is crucial to make it happen. If this is the case then the LEADER project funding is perfect.”

The barn and stable conversion has provided the following benefits:

  • one full time job created
  • 1,000 additional day visitors per year
  • 100 additional overnight visitors per year.

The grant was provided by the South Nottinghamshire Leader programme under Leader priority 3 – Support for rural tourism.

The LEADER South Nottinghamshire programme is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas.

Samworth Farms Ltd – Direct Drill system

Samworth Farms Ltd – Direct Drill system

A South Nottinghamshire LEADER programme grant has helped Samworth Farms, based in Cropwell Bishop, make the decision to invest in a new method of sowing seed using a high-tech Claydon direct seed drill.

The new drill, fitted to a tractor, can be used with pinpoint accuracy to plant seeds into the ground without the need to remove last season’s crop residue. This reduces the use of farming equipment to prepare the land, helping to safeguard the soil structure and cut diesel fuel use by 40%.

Fertiliser can also be added next to the seeds in the ground, helping to target nutrients more effectively, reducing the use of fertiliser by around 10%, bringing additional environmental benefits.

Russell Price, Director of Samworth Farms Ltd said: "With the purchase of the new style drill, the LEADER grant has allowed us to greatly improve business productivity whilst reducing inputs and increasing outputs. The Direct drill reduces input as it can place fertiliser with the seed when drilled reducing the need to broadcast fertiliser over the whole field, increasing efficiency uptake.

"We have used an agent to support our application process and we have claimed back the funds in one claim after receiving the contract and purchasing the drill. Support was available from the LEADER programme team. 

"I would suggest understanding the LEADER application process beforehand by talking to one of their support team which has been quite straight forward."

Samworth Farms is a family farming business which started in 1981 based in Cropwell Bishop and includes six different farms which manages and provides whole farm contracting services as well as its owns farmed area of 547 hectares.

The grant was provided by the South Nottinghamshire LEADER programme under Leader priority 1 – support to increase farm productivity.

J & WK Fisher Ltd – Direct drill and sprayer technology

J & WK Fisher Ltd – Direct drill and sprayer technology

Saxondale based family farming business J & WK Fisher have been able to invest in new equipment to offer a more environmentally friendly approach to planting seeds and using fertiliser on their crops.

The team secured a £21,737 grant from the  South Nottinghamshire LEADER programme to invest in a new Claydon Hybrid direct drill which can plant seeds without any initial cultivation of the land. This helps to reduce costs, increase yields and improve the overall condition of the soil, helping it to retain nutrients more effectively in the future.

The grant also included funding for new GPS based auto-shut off equipment to apply fertiliser to the crops. The technology accurately maps and records how much fertiliser has been applied with much greater precision than ever before. This approach helps to make sure the correct amount of fertiliser is used, giving better quality crops, more effective disease control and increased yields with additional benefits for the local environment.

Without the LEADER grant, J & WK Fisher would not have invested in the new machinery and the significant benefits for production, soil quality and the local environment.

Joe Fisher, Joint director, J & WK Fisher Ltd said: "The LEADER grant will enable our farm to move towards a reduced tillage system through the purchase of the Claydon hybrid strip till drill. This, together with the introduction of the GPS auto-shut off equipment, will mean more accurate and efficient application of fertiliser and plant protection products.

"This project will help the business meet the changing demands within agriculture, where we are faced with an urgent requirement to increase efficiency by raising yields in a sustainable manner whilst reducing costs in uncertain times.

"The programme team have been available for support and I’d recommend giving yourself time to fully take in all the information given to you and how it works."

The grant was provided by the South Nottinghamshire LEADER programme under Leader priority 1 – support to increase farm productivity.

Harker’s farm shop - improvements to farm shop and meat processing area

Harker’s farm shop - improvements to farm shop and meat processing area

Harker’s farm shop, based in Clipston on the Wolds, is expanding its range of fresh meat products and employing an additional member of staff thanks to a grant from the South Nottinghamshire LEADER programme.

Opened in 1954 by Tom Harker, the farm shop business has gradually expanded over the decades and needed new meat preparation space and specialist equipment to keep up with demand for their popular range of sausages.

The South Nottinghamshire LEADER programme grant money has been used to expand the meat processing area, purchase new sausage making machinery and a scale allergen label printer to allow the shop to sell packaged meats in line with legal requirements.

On the shop floor, visible changes include new display fridges and freezers and a general revamp of the shop display area.

The new sausage making equipment has helped to boost efficiency by more than doubling the number of sausages the team can make, helping to keep up with rising demand from local customers.

A new line of frozen convenience foods for customers is just one of the benefits of the new food labelling equipment which can now display the weight, nutritional information and allergy advice of individual products.

Tracy Harker, Director at the Harker’s farm shop business said: "The LEADER South grant has allowed us to expand our meat processing room, increase the production of raw meat and extend the product range as well as purchase the new equipment and machinery such as the fridges and sausage mixer machine.

"All of this has allowed us to meet the growing market demand the shop could not keep up with which meant we missed out on valuable business.

"The advice I would give anyone considering applying for a grant is to talk through the project with the LEADER team to understand the process and how you can claim back the funds."

The grant was provided by the South Nottinghamshire LEADER programme under Leader priority 2 – 'support for micro and small enterprises and farm diversification' to purchase the improvement and extension of the cutting room, flooring, fridges and freezers, sausage mixer and label printer.

S Clark Farms – Ecocentre kitchen extension

S Clark Farms - Ecocentre kitchen extension

An eco-farm project has been able to expand its services by providing a new community kitchen thanks to a £12,676 grant from the Leader south programme.

The Farmeco Community Care Farm, based at Screveton in south Nottinghamshire, works with schools and the local community to manage and protect land around the eco centre. The eco farm provides opportunities for local schools to get involved through an outdoor classroom and provides training and volunteering opportunities in farm work including food production and healthy eating for young people and people with a learning disability.

S Clark Farms, who have an established partnership with the Farmeco Community Care Farm secured £12,676 to build an extension to the existing community kitchen at the site.

David Rose, Director of S Clark Farms said: "The LEADER grant has been fundamental to the growth of the business helping us to exceed our target numbers. The funding has been a fantastic boost for the business and we couldn't have done it without support from the Leader South programme."

The kitchen extension has helped to improve access for people with learning difficulties to the farm site. The improvements have also created a larger community kitchen space, helping the project to welcome larger groups, increasing the number of children the business can accommodate to around 1,200 a year – a 20% increase on previous figures.

The grant was provided by the South Notts Leader programme under Leader priority 2 – support for micro and small enterprises and farm diversification.

Find Out More

To discuss a project idea or to find out how to become more involved in the local LEADER partnership, contact:

  • Craig Edson
  • South Nottinghamshire LEADER Programme Officer
  • (0115) 977 2686
  • Email Craig Edson

Funded By

EU Funding