Grant funding for local businesses – final call for applications

Small businesses and organisations that benefit the local rural economy in Tewkesbury Borough and Forest of Dean are being given a final call to apply for grants of up to £100,000.


Thanks to the Forest District and Tewkesbury Borough LEADER programme, capital investment grants from £5000 to £100,000 (up to 40% of total costs) are available on a first-come-first served basis.


The final deadline to apply is 10am on Monday, 26 November - although applicants are encouraged to submit asap to avoid missing out.


To be successful, submissions – which are encouraged from micro/small businesses, farmers/foresters, growers, community groups and other organisations – must demonstrate a benefit to the local rural community through the creation of jobs of the development of businesses.


The LEADER programme, which is supported by Tewkesbury Borough and Forest of Dean councils, has key investment priorities, and applications are encouraged to meet these:


  • Farm productivity
  • Business support
  • Farm diversification
  • Tourism
  • Culture and heritage
  • Forestry productivity.


Councillor Rob Bird, Lead Member for Economic Development and Promotion, Tewkesbury Borough Council:  “This is a fantastic opportunity for local businesses with growth plans to get a critical injection of cash, but time is fast running out, and anyone interested really needs to act now. The scheme has a proven track record of helping rural business to expand – it is an opportunity not to be missed.”


The Forest and Tewkesbury Borough LEADER programme has already allocated over £750k worth of grant funding to 30 businesses across Tewkesbury Borough and the Forest of Dean.


Recent examples of grants awarded are Orange Tree Toys (Toddington) and Hillbrook Ice Cream (Kempley). Orange Tree Toys was awarded £55,882 (40%) towards the capital costs of developing its premises and expanding the business into new markets. This will result in at least 12 new jobs over the next 12 months.


Hillbrook Ice Cream  has been granted £19,272 (25%) for the development/expansion of its ice cream retail business, as part of a farm diversification project, resulting in 2 new jobs whilst helping the business to grow further.


Cllr Julia Gooch, the Forest of Dean DC Cabinet Member for Town Centres, Business Support and Jobs, says, “We are fully behind this great scheme which has already provided much needed financial support to a wide range of small businesses and other groups in rural communities across the District.  I urge everyone who is eligible to bid for funding as soon as possible so we can make the most of this wonderful opportunity.”


If you are thinking of applying to the Forest and Tewkesbury Borough LEADER programme, please contact Neil Batt (Programme Manager) as soon as possible on or 01594 812608 to avoid missing out. Further details and application forms are also available at


  • 01594 810000