The final beneficiaries of the £2.7m Yorkshire Dales LEADER programme have received their grants.
One recent successful applicant was The Ribblesdale Cheese Company in Hawes, an artisan cheese maker specialising in goats cheese.
The company received a grant towards a second-hand vacuum packing machine which has enabled the company to launch a new range of flavoured goat curd pots.
Iona Hill, company owner and cheesemaker, said: “We are very grateful to the LEADER project for helping us fund a new machine that lets us make gas flushed pots of flavoured goat curd.
“It is a very new thing to the market and we would not be able to do this without their help.
“We are very excited with the new product and are getting positive feedback from our customers.”
The LAG also awarded a grant to the award winning ice-cream makers Brymor, at High Jervaulx Farm in lower Wensleydale, to support the expansion of facilities onsite, including a farm shop and indoor play area for children, to develop the business as a year-round attraction.
Rima Berry, the Yorkshire Dales LEADER co-ordinator at Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, said: “The local action group were delighted to secure additional LEADER funding to support our final approved projects.
“The demand for grants has been huge over the past two years, a great indication of the business vitality in the rural area.
“It is a privilege to be able to boost the legacy of businesses, help them start-up, prosper or expand.
“Their celebration becomes ours, and together we have brought over £2.7 million of investment into our rural area, boosting growth and jobs.
“Now let’s maximise the benefit and support our local services and business.”
The LEADER programme aims to address the problems of ‘rurality’ within the Yorkshire Dales. Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust is the lead partner in the multi-agency partnership which brings together representatives from voluntary sector organisations, public bodies and private businesses working in the Yorkshire Dales LEADER area.
The aim is to improve the quality of life and prosperity in Yorkshire Dales communities by supporting innovation and diversification, as well as encouraging collaboration and the use of new technologies to help create jobs and economic growth in rural areas.