UK farmers get a funding boost: £138m given to rural communities to help them grow

 
Sarah Spickernell
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Funding will be allocated by local action groups
Funding will be allocated by local action groups (Source: Getty)

In an attempt to help UK farmers grow and diversify their business, the government is giving them access to £138m of funding.

Under a scheme dubbed LEADER, rural communities will be able to use the money to support projects in their local area, such as the creation of farm shops and ice cream parlours, or the expansion of cheese and meat product lines.

Commenting on the decision, farming minister George Eustice said:

We want to grow our rural economy, which is why we’re making funding available to local communities so they can invest in projects to bring more jobs and enterprise to their areas.

The funding is part of the government's wider Rural Productivity Plan (RPA), in which it commits to devolving powers to small communities.

Read more: Dairy farmers blockade Morrisons distribution centre over falling milk prices

The money will be allocated by a series of local action groups covering 85 per cent of rural Britain. The groups are made up of local businesses and voluntary groups. Mark Grimshaw, chief executive of the RPA, said

The great thing about the scheme is the level of collaboration between government and local communities. We have a common purpose and a strong belief that we can work in partnership to allow the rural economy to grow.

Dairy farmers across Europe are currently grappling with a global decline in milk prices, caused by a glut in domestic milk supply combined with decreasing demand from Russia and China.

Earlier this year, the UK's National Farmers Union said farmers were facing a "state of emergency", after UK milk prices went down 25 per cent over the course of 2014.

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