[ Contents ]
From strategy to action:
The various methods of project selection
1.9 Moderating the rates of subsidies
The LAG can moderate the rates of subsidies depending on the strategic lines it has set itself. These rates are firstly determined by European standards for competition, by the regulations determining the use of the Structural Funds and by the specific LEADER guidelines in force in some Member States. The rates therefore vary depending on the type of investment (material or immaterial), the sector of activity concerned, the nature of the beneficiaries, etc. Material investment projects, for example, generally receive less funding than immaterial investment projects.
The following are given by way of example and should not be taken as the norm.
The Canal de Castilla LAG (Castile-Leon, Spain) has established criteria and differentiated subsidy rates for cultural projects and productive projects.
In the case of cultural projects borne by municipalities, the LEADER subsidies are awarded to infrastructure projects to promote culture (cultural centres, meeting areas, social clubs, etc.) and to complementary tourist facilities (centres for studying nature, tourist information offices, ethnographic or thematic museums, etc.).
In this context, if the project includes the restoration of historic buildings, a maximum grant of 55% is awarded, whereas in the case of infrastructures without real heritage interest, the grant is 50% (with a ceiling of ECU 85 000). Projects for tourism promotion, for restoring historic monuments and for cultural activities linked to rural development also receive grants of 50%.
For productive projects, the rates of subsidies vary: 20% if an already existing activity is being supported without the number of jobs being increased, 30% if craft activities are created (5 extra points are awarded for each job without exceeding 35% of LEADER subsidies and a ceiling of ECU 110 000).
For rural tourism facilities (rural gîtes, for example), a pre-determined ceiling of ECU 10 000 in subsidies is applied to all projects whose local investment does not exceed ECU 30 000 and a subsidy rate of 40% is allocated to projects exceeding this amount.
In general, apart from the criteria of financial viability, of impact in terms of job creation, of project appropriateness to the LAG's strategy, of development of local resources and criteria which can be applied to all projects, priority is given to projects whose total cost does not exceed ECU 130 000.
The rates of funding can also vary within the same area of intervention: for example, the South Devon & Dartmoor LAG area (England, United Kingdom) covers a 5b area and an adjacent area which is not eligible under Objective 5b. In the case of projects situated in the area outside 5b, the percentage of the LEADER subsidy is reduced to 35% of the total cost of the project. If some project partners are situated in the area outside 5b and others within the 5b area, the rate of funding is fixed at between 35% and 45%. In all cases, funds allocated to projects from outside Objective 5b areas must not exceed 10% of the total amount allocated by LEADER.