Sheep graze on farmland in Dartmoor© imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock

Farm and forestry businesses in the Dartmoor area can now apply for larger grants under the Rural Development Plan for England (RDPE) Leader scheme.

The threshold for applications to the Greater Dartmoor Local Enterprise Action Fund (GD Leaf) has been raised from £100,000 to the £150,000 maximum grant.

GD Leaf funding can cover costs associated with capital items such as building work and materials, equipment, marketing and software.

See also: Succession prompts switch from mixed farming to dairy

More than £600,000 has already been committed to 31 businesses under the scheme.

Projects already awarded money from GD Leaf include a farm which used the grant to add an automated flushing and dipping system to its milking parlour, the purchase of a purpose-built Alpine tractor for forestry work and a business which will use the money to construct a purpose-built structure for timber storage and processing as well as for buying equipment for the extraction and cutting of timber and firewood. 

Support with applications is available through the DR Company, an independent, not-for-profit organisation which provides friendly, impartial, expert services to support rural projects and businesses

Application details including maps of the GD Leaf area are available on the DR Company’s GD Leaf webpage or by emailing gdleaf@drcompany.co.uk or calling  01837 658 643.