Forestry Productivity

Forestry is making an increasing contribution to rural growth - it is helping to diversify the farm economy and reduce the carbon footprint of local communities. More than 80% of England’s woods are privately owned. Funding under LEADER will aim to deliver permanent new supply chains and jobs that, at the same time, restore regular management to local woods and encourage a greater degree of added value to the timber output.

Who can apply

 Owners of private forestry holdings

 Small and medium-sized forestry contracting businesses. Grant limits

 Applicants can apply for a maximum of 40% of the projects’ eligible costs. The maximum grant that Rural Surrey LEADER LAG will normally offer is £50,000.

What is eligible

 investments in machinery and equipment to help the production, extraction, mobilising, processing and marketing of timber and non-timber forest products;

 the processing, mobilising and marketing of products for new forestry technologies;

 investments that enhance forestry potential or add value to forest products by processing, mobilising or marketing;

 the costs of developing wood-fuel supply chains;

 transportation of wood within a forest by specialised forestry equipment, excluding standard transport activities; and

 investments in the production, processing and marketing of non-timber forest products, particularly wild venison. This shall include on-holding cold storage and butchery facilities.

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:

 large scale or industrial processing undertaken by static machinery with an annual processing capacity that is more than 10,000m3.

 hand tools (including chain saws) and consumables;

 investments in woodland creation or the management of woodland itself; and  the preparation of woodland management plans.