Culture and Heritage

This focuses on the promotion, enhancement and maintenance of cultural heritage assets and events where this promotes growth in the tourism economy and:

  • creates a sense of local identity through raised awareness of their importance; and/or
  • helps protect cultural heritage features against damage and degradation. Who can apply
  • landowners;
  • rural community groups;
    • local authorities (in exceptional circumstances, where for example the local authority can show that the project and the funding required is in addition to their statutory requirement to provide this kind of activity and the project will be of benefit to farmers, landowners and/or rural communities).

Grant limits

If the grant amount is less than €200,000 then the grant rate can be up to 100% and is awarded under de minimis state aid rules.* However, the maximum grant that Rural Surrey LEADER LAG will normally offer is £50,000 and the Rural Surrey LAG will not normally support enterprises at a grant rate of more than 40%.

It is assumed that all investments must be able to demonstrate a benefit to the wider local economy.

Please note it is assumed that the activity will not take place on an agricultural holding. Any farmers that are seeking grant support for activity under this priority should talk to Natural England in the first instance as funding may be available under Countryside Stewardship.

State aid rules

*De minimis state aid regulations mean that a maximum of €200,000 (currently around £145,000) of Public Funds is available to any one applicant in any rolling period of 3 financial years. If an applicant has had other public funding, this may count towards the de minimis aid amount and reduce the amount of money they can apply for under LEADER. Please note that Basic Payment Scheme and Countryside Stewardship payments do NOT count towards the de minimis limit.

What is eligible

  • the costs of construction and / or restoration of buildings and other physical assets, including general costs such as architects and engineering fees;
  • the costs to enhance, restore and upgrade the cultural and natural heritage of villages and rural landscapes and high nature value sites;
  • the conservation of small scale built heritage;
  • the costs to enhance cultural and community activities and investments to enhance venues providing cultural an heritage activity; and
  • the costs of events linked to cultural activity.
  • What isn’t covered


The following are not eligible:


  1. costs for standard agricultural equipment and inputs, like animals and annual crops;
  2. costs of agricultural production rights and payment entitlements;
  3. costs of getting any consents needed, for example planning permission;
    1. costs for anything that’s a standard industry obligation, for example requirements of the Basic Payment Scheme
    2. costs that are incurred before the date of the grant funding agreement;
    3. financial charges, such as interest, fines and maintenance;
    4. reclaimable VAT;
    5. any items already subject to EU or national funding;
    6. projects the applicant is required to do to meet a legal or statutory requirement;


10. like for like replacements of existing items such as buildings, equipment and machinery;


11. costs connected with a leasing contract, such as lessor’s margin, interest refinancing costs, overheads and insurance charges;


12. salaries and running costs for commercial business applicants;


  1. long term salaries and running costs for community or not for profit projects;


Note - Some limited salary costs associated with the development of the project may be eligible but would cease as soon as the project was running. Eligibility of these costs will be considered on a case by case basis and will only be considered where the business need is clearly articulated and directly linked to supporting rural jobs and growth.


  1. like for like relocation of the business;


Note - if the business needs to relocate in order to expand it can only apply for funding towards the costs of the expansion.


  1. own labour;
  2. in-kind contributions;
  3. licence fees, subscriptions and service charges;
  4. standard computer and mobile equipment; and
    1. costs for plant and equipment directly associated with the generation of energy from renewable sources which are supported through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) or Feed-In Tariffs (FITs).


In addition to the list of costs which can’t be claimed above the following costs are not eligible under this priority:

  • computers, software and printers that are used for the general running of a business, such as processing orders and accounts;
  • salaries associated with the on-going running of projects;
  • access to broadband services;
  • landscaping - unless it is part of ‘making good’ for an application for a major attraction or accommodation expansion. In which case, only the landscaping contractor’s fees would be eligible excluding the plants, seeds, turf or trees; and
  • projects to meet statutory requirements for disabled access, fire regulations or emergency exits, unless the costs of providing access, exit and complying with regulations form part of the normal costs for a major expansion project.