Apply to LEAP: Fund the change you want to see

By Robert Fraser

Features

Robert Fraser invites agroecological businesses to join an innovative funding programme which is making positive changes in our food system possible

The cold water thrown on  Henry Dimbleby’s National Food Strategy by Boris Johnson’s government through its Food Strategy white paper announced this week has yet again highlighted the crucial role that entrepreneurial people and communities have in creating the change they want to see in the food and farming system.

Despite the continuing absence of policy support and an economic framework that concentrates power and influence in the hands of the few, positive change is happening. Here at the Real Farming Trust we want to enable and support that change in whatever way we can. This is why we set up LEAP, a new and innovative funding programme for agroecological and community food businesses.

Apply by 30 June

Since LEAP launched in 2019, we have invested over £800,000 into 18 amazing businesses, from small CSAs like Soul Farm and Goonown Growers to large ethical retailers such as Locavore and Sole of Discretion.

We’ve supported mushroom growers, care farms, food waste cafés, box schemes, micro-dairies and everything in between. We have provided these businesses with loans of between £20,000-£100,000 side by side with grants of up to £18,000 and up to £10,000 worth of business advice and support.

This has enabled them to invest in their businesses in a multitude of ways – from new polytunnels, packing sheds, delivery vehicles, tools and machinery to websites, IT and new members of staff.

Apply by 30 June

The funding programme closes at the end of 2022 but we still have some funds available, and encourage businesses to apply by 30 June. The final window for applications is at the end of September.

If you need funding and would like to find out more about how we can help, please take a look at our FAQs or get in touch. Or, if you’re ready to apply straight away, register your interest.

 

Photos

Top: Lawrence Jarrett-Kerr at Soul Farm near Falmouth, Cornwall where LEAP enabled the CSA to expand and found a local farmers’ market.
Credit: Jason Taylor the source

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