Follow this link to our successful Rural Surrey LEADER projects booklet (NB. large file) for projects awarded grants from the 2008 to 2013 Surrey Hills LEADER programme.
We've showcased the successful projects from 2015 - 2020 so far and six of the previous programme projects below.
- Successful projects from 2015-2020 programme
- Surrey Agricultural Society
- Shere Village Cinema
- Coverwood Lakes, Gardens and Farm
- The Green Escape
- P+L Forestry
- Frewer and Co Engineers Ltd
To date Rural Surrey LEADER has awarded almost £200,000 to seven projects. These projects are:
- Local dairy farmer has received funding to purchase machinery which adds value to their milk by producing their own Gelato (ice cream) and sorbets.
- Local Tree Surgeon has purchased a small forestry tractor and trailer to manage smaller woodlands across rural Surrey.
- A Surrey Farmer has received funding to turn a disused agricultural building into a holiday let, adding to their on farm portfolio of holiday accommodation.
- A farmer with an existing campsite, wanted guests to stay longer and was funded to convert an unused farm building into a toilet and shower block along with a farm shop and on site butchery
- A farmer was funded to improve the productivity of their farm by enlarging their slurry storage facilities.
- An arable farmer was funded to purchase a gps system to manage the input of nutirents into the soil and improve their yield.
Surrey County Agricultural Society (SCAS) approached Surrey Hills LEADER for a second grant for £15,000 towards the set up costs of a new online bar-coded, ticketing operation for the Surrey County Show. The Show provides a unique opportunity for the promotion of Surrey farming and farmers, a key aim of the society. SCAS is a membership organisation run by Surrey farmers that aims to encourage agriculture and agricultural employees in their chosen specialities. It also seeks to support the breeding and rearing of livestock and raise the general public’s awareness of farming. It holds the Surrey County Show specifically to meet these needs. Previous years' ticket sales have been affected by bad weather and pre-show sales are important for event profit. To help SCAS sell more pre-event tickets they approached Surrey Hills LEADER for a 60% grant towards improving their I.T. capability. Visitors can now book, pay and download their tickets from the SCAS website and bring them for scanning to the show entrance. The new system was a huge success in 2013 and has already been leased out to other county shows, which has created an additional income stream for the society.
A group of determined villagers in Shere successfully applied for a grant of £7,578 towards the cost of setting up a cinema in Shere Village Hall. Starting with one screening a month and building to a more frequent schedule depending on demand, the screenings are bringing people together in a community meeting space to enjoy a value for money cinema experience that betters a commercial cinema. The equipment is also available to hire for other not for profit organisations. Residents in Shere were keen to open up a cinema club in the Village Hall, previously a cinema itself. They received good advice from a local company who fitted the equipment on a non profit basis. The 65% grant from Surrey Hills LEADER enabled them to buy projectors, screens and speakers as well as blackout blinds. The committee hoped that the new cinema would provide an accessible focal point for the residents of all ages of the villages in the Shere area. The project is appealing to those who cannot afford otherwise to pay mainstream box office prices, do not have transport, or are simply uncomfortable with going in to a busy town, maybe on their own and at night. For young people and especially teenagers, it is a fun place to meet up with their friends and feel some ownership by getting involved. On another level, the project is helping break down social barriers between generations, and to combating boredom, frustration and social unrest in the rural area.
Coverwood Farm, a 200 acre beef farm near Peaslake is now able to cater events with local produce from a custom made Airstream trailer thanks to a £20,306 grant from the Surrey Hills LEADER Grant Programme. Running a programme of garden visits, opera festivals and weddings, the new trailer is able to showcase the farm's own produce as well as local suppliers, giving visitors a quality, artisan food offering from a quality and unique platform. Coverwood has been farmed by the same family for the last 60 years and they have been looking for ways to diversify as beef profit margins have been squeezed. The family were planning to increase visitor numbers, weddings and corporate events and needed to provide a quality catering offering to present the right image as well as increasing visitor spending. Previously visitors were offered tea and cake from a garage and weddings were previously catered with a BBQ. The Airstream, 50% funded by Surrey Hills LEADER, is branded with the Coverwood logo and offers a menu of home produced beef and lamb burgers and steaks, locally sources sausages, local cakes, seasonal salads and coffee. The trailer has also been used at events such as Cranleigh Show and Munstead Horse Trials. By selling more of their own beef, the farm should be able eventually to increase herd numbers, thus bringing the farm back to its roots and ensuring its stability for the future.
A local family successfully applied for a £45,650 grant from the Surrey Hills LEADER Grant Programme towards the set up of their new, family run sustainable holiday accommodation near Ockley. The grant enabled them to purchase 8 Shepherds Huts and erect a straw bale building providing visitors to the Surrey Hills with sustainable and environmentally friendly accommodation. The family had been looking for a suitable site to run a sustainable holiday business after they gained valuable experience running a Holiday Centre on the Isle of Mull. When they found the 6 acre National Trust site on the side of Leith Hill they approached Surrey Hills LEADER for a substantial grant to assist them to purchase shepherds huts and to build a straw bale building. LEADER was able to give them 50% of the cost of the accommodation, allowing them to offer a unique, brand new tourist experience in the Surrey Hills. The Green Escape now offers accommodation for up to 20 guests in 7 huts spread around the copse. Each hut has a sleeping area and is fitted with a wood burning stove. There is a straw bale building housing cooking facilities with enough space for communal dining and activities provided by local crafts people. The family have made it as easy as possible for guests, offering a transport service from the station to encourage a green way of travel, supplying breakfast and dinner from local producers. They want people to feel that ‘all they have to bring is a toothbrush and torch’ and everything else will be provided!
P and L Forestry’s woodland management business has grown over 20 years and now provides work for four full time people. Low grade round wood is a by-product of this business, which includes coppicing, thinning timber, ride creation, removal of exotic species, processing and retailing firewood, WGS contracts for SSSIs, tree planting and maintenance. For the past eight years, the company has been supplying this round wood as a wood fuel to the local community. This involves the wood being harvested one winter, stacked roadside for 3-16 months, hauled to the yard and stacked as round wood for processing over the summer months into bulk bags for deliveries the next winter. Space for stockpiling round wood and processed timber had run out and to produce quality seasoned logs in higher volumes a new agricultural barn for air drying and storage was needed. In order to maximize space, the wood needed to be stacked higher than at present. This required a telehandler with timber grapple and log deck for loading.
By supporting the business with an award of £31,079 towards the storage facility and telehander, the Surrey Hills LEADER Grant Scheme was able to help him:
- Increase supply of local firewood to local residents
- Increase revenue for woodland owners from the low grade round wood
- Support rural employment harvesting, processing and delivering firewood
- Increase awareness of woodlands, their importance coppice management
- Manage important natural woodlands and restore neglected woodland
Frewer and Co Engineers offer specialised design services to the aerospace, power generation and automotive industries. They successfully approached Surrey Hills LEADER for a grant of £14,521 towards the purchase of advanced design tools and development of a website to increase business capabilities and open up new markets. The new IT equipment and associated marketing has already helped secure new contracts and created more jobs within the organisation. Frewer & Co Engineers Ltd was formed in 2003 to supply engineering consultancy services to industry. Since the company formed, their customer base has grown and they have expanded their service with engineers who are experts in their fields and have extensive experience in the supply of professional design and analysis for industry. To enable this growth to continue, the company approached the Surrey Hills LEADER Grant Scheme for a 50% grant for the purchase of new IT equipment and software. The new equipment allowed them to increase the scope of services offered to customers and attract new projects. The grant also facilitated the development of an up to date website to help promote the new company capabilities. As well as securing business resilience, the grant has helped to provide a local workplace for aspiring engineers in a rural area.