Leader case studies 2008 to 2014

Leader, launched in October 2008 was designed to improve economic productivity and quality of life in the Peak District Rural Action Zone. The fund provided financial help to very small rural businesses and social enterprises across the Leader area.

Grant funding supports rural business. The fund closed on 31 March 2014.

Grants from £3,500 upwards were available. This section has examples of projects supported.

Commenting on the work done to date Councillor Lewis Rose, chair of the Local Action Group, said:

Leader was designed to address gaps identified within the Peak District Leader area and complemented existing activities.  We supported our key industry sectors, such as land-based businesses, micro-enterprises, tourism and heritage.

The first phase of grant activity was designed to help support organisations most likely to be affected by the slow-down in the economy during 2008 to 2014, including micro-enterprises and agricultural businesses.

10MB rural wireless broadband

The project was used to purchase and install 12 high speed links within the Leader area providing both residential and business customers with access to high speed wireless broadband. The areas selected were areas not currently or likely to be covered by mainstream broadband providers for the foreseeable future.

Ashbourne Canine Hydrotherapy Centre

An Ashbourne-based facility helping with the rehabilitation of dogs wanted to purchase a piece of specialist equipment.

Ashford Artisan employment facility

Diversification has assisted the farmer in ensuring the farm has a mixed income to sustain the business and assist in maintaining and developing a viable business for future generations.

Bakewell Town and Community Trust

The grant enabled the installation of a catering standard kitchen adjacent to the Assembly Room as part of the first floor refurbishment programme of Bakewell Town Hall in line with the Trust's business development plan.

Big Fernyford Farm

The aim of the project was to restore the former pig and cart shed. The pig shed into a meat processing room to add value to the main output of the farm and the cart shed in to self catering holiday accommodation to enable farm diversification.

Blackwell Mill Cycle Hire

The aim of the project was to establish a professional cycle hire business enabling Cheryl to work from home.

Bonsall heritage project

The project was to restore, maintain and improve the heritage sites within Bonsall Parish, including the historic wells, market cross, fountain monument and war memorials.

Boots, bikes and bridles - the no car café!

Rushop Hall currently provides both serviced and self catering accommodation to visitors to The Peak District. The grant has enabled a disused agricultural building to be refurbished to provide a café and dining facility to users of Rushop Hall and take the business to the next level.

Cantrill Furniture Design

David Cantrill's new cabinet-making business is based in a partly converted cowshed on his father's farm near Ashbourne. He sought funding to convert the building and develop his new business making high quality wooden furniture from his own designs.


The primary aim of this innovative project is to establish a professionally run catering business for the wider Parwich area, with a focus on family and community events, such as weddings, parties, funerals and other commemorative functions.

Chapel-en-le-Frith war memorial

The Leader grant funding was used to restore the war memorial sited on the market place in Chapel-en-le-Frith.

Coach House Studios

The Coach House Studios project renovated a derelict, historic building in the centre of Wirksworth as a permanent base for a Pilates studio and to provide space for local businesses, community groups and individuals to work and meet.

DCS Dynamic IT System

An existing company based in Wirksworth and specialising in Legionella Disease control, prevention and risk assessment, was looking to move to new premises as part of its expansion.

Duke of York Filling Station

The grant was to upgrade and increase the environmental aspects of the station on the forecourt and to replace the existing 1960s shop with a modern and efficient 100 square metres convenience store.

Gourmet Express

This new business based on a farm in the Hope Valley and trading as Gourmet Express is producing high quality ready meals for the freezer and also provides a catering service.

Gradbach Scout Camp

A 50-acre rural camp site in the Dane Valley popular with youth groups sought to upgrade its unsatisfactory temporary toilets by creating permanent, eco-friendly facilities.

Griffiths Mill

A husband and wife team approached Leader for help in establishing a mini mill to process fibre and fleeces, constructing a small building and installing specialist machinery.

Griffiths Mill and Griffiths Mill Dehairer

Griffiths' Mill has secured funding from Leader twice.

Grindleford Community Shop

The grant is for a feasibility study to assist in setting up a community shop for the village. Specialist consultants will be appointed to do the feasibility study following a competitive tendering process.

Hartington Cheese Shop

The cheese shop has been in the village of Hartington for 30 years and was bought by the current owners in 2009.

Health academy

The establishment of a health academy was proposed at an existing gym that would offer a wide range of services, including an in-house corrective exercise clinic to provide specialist help for individuals suffering postural problems, joint pain and balance issues. One-to-one coaching and advice is envisaged over a six-week course, with patients referred by physiotherapists and GPs.

High Croft Venison

A new venison processing unit which will enable the processing of whole deer carcasses, skin and chill, hang to mature, butcher, pack and sell on as steak, burgers and sausages.

Hoe Grange Holidays

To improve the holiday experience for guests with limited mobility, by providing a greater level of access to the outdoor environment of the spectacular Peak District.

Hope Valley phase two farm diversification

To make one of the last two dairy farms in the Hope Valley economically sustainable by adding value to more of the milk produced.

Innovation piping

Buxoplas Pipe Systems Ltd is a new company formed in May 2012 by Steve Mycock to enable him to develop, manufacture and market a range of innovate pipe work products in response to gaps in the current market.

Laser scanner

The grant was used to help purchase a Leica laser scanner. This cutting edge piece of equipment has allowed the business to compete nationally and internationally for work in the heritage and environmental sectors.

Lunar Lift Off

The idea of a family entertainment centre, within walking distance of Ashbourne town centre, was to provide a safe, inviting and exciting indoor environment for young children to play, as well as creating a meeting place for local community groups and clubs.

Manifold Craft Barn and Learning Centre

The Manifold Craft Barn and Learning Centre will be dedicated to introducing and enhancing the creative and artistic skills of the local and wider community.

Manor Farm Hydro Scheme

Manor Farm has been home to four generations of farmers working over 1,000 acres of land.

Monsal Trail Cycle Hire at Hassop Station

The grant was used to help fund the setting up of a new cycle hire centre and function room.

Paper Chase

Following three years of growth the business recognised the need to maximise storage space in the building to enable further growth.

Pikehall Farm rural buildings

The traditional farm buildings at Pikehall Farm comprise two distinct barns. Hartington Creamery Ltd agreed to move into the converted barns and commence cheese production.

Pikehall Farm rural buildings farm diversification

The dairy farmer had an underused barn that would enable the family to diversify and add a stable rental income to the farm.

Queens Arms village shop

Jane and Steve Allen came forward with plans to open a general-purpose shop in the pool room of their newly-purchased village pub.

Ravenscliffe Farm Holidays

The grant was used towards renovating one holiday cottage and extending another. A small portion towards purchasing a utility vehicle with which to ferry anyone around the farm with walking difficulties.

Ravenscliffe Farm Nature Holidays

Leader funding was requested to part-fund the development of two disabled access holiday let cottages, one to be fully wheelchair accessible and the other to be designed in particular for families who have a disabled person accompanying them.

Restoration of Ilam Cross

The Mary Watts-Russell Memorial Cross was erected in 1840 by Jesse Watts-Russell of Ilam, Staffordshire in memory of this wife, Mary.

Retrogenix laboratory expansion

Retrogenix is a biotechnology company providing advanced services to the pharmaceutical industry. To allow growth, there was a need to expand its laboratory facilities.

Roebuck Old Foundry

The renovation and restoration of a former foundry in the heart of Chapel-en-le-Frith Conservation Area to create offices and storage for an expanding local company and a workshop to relocate a valued local employer from unsuitable premises nearby.

Rosie's Tea Room

With no other cafe, tea room or coffee shop in Hayfield, the proposal for a new establishment serving eat-in food and beverages looked to provide the large and popular village with a new service for residents and visitors, especially in the mornings when no pubs or restaurants are open.

Rosie's Tea and Coffee Room

Deidre and Andrew moved to Hayfield after identifying a gap in the market. In 2009 they set up of a new business to provide the local community and visitors to the village of Hayfield with a new café to relax in.

Rowson House Farm accessible tourism unit

The project aimed to convert a derelict barn into accessible self catering holiday accommodation.

Salt block plant

The project proposed the manufacture of 10kg salt blocks for agricultural animal feed use. The salt would be mined in Cheshire and minerals and vitamins added to the product.

Secret Cloud House Holidays

If you are searching for a peaceful, relaxing break in beautiful countryside yet with an endless array of exhilarating activities on your doorstep then look no further.

Shuker Bass

The aim of the project was to enable the existing business to expand and recruit further employees.

Speedwell Mill Conservations

An existing woodworking business proposed to further renovate an historic mill building to allow it to expand its operations.

Sustainable food communities

The project aims to set up nine farmers' markets in village schools throughout the Peak District Rural Action Zone where there is a lack of local services, village shops and markets.

The Cordwainer

The project was to establish the business in the Peak District by helping to fund capital outlay on additional machinery and storage systems, as well as help to fund employment of two trainees to become full time skilled employees.

The cutting edge of stone working

The grant was used to assist with the purchase of a CNC work-centre from Italy.

The Hartington Creamery

Cheese and Stilton making have been synonymous with the village of Hartington since the late 1800s. Since the closure of the cheese factory in summer 2009, 150 year history of Stilton Cheese at the site and cheese making in Derbyshire came to an end.

The Osteopathy Centre

After identifying a lack of osteopathic care in the Hope Valley, an existing practitioner proposed to convert a derelict village building and establish a new practice, offering a professional healthcare service to the rural community.

The Royal Oak

A traditional Derbyshire pub sought to provide a low-cost, high-quality experience for visitors to the Peak District by increasing the number of caravan and camping pitches and extending its existing bunk barn.

TUM TUM children's range

When houseware designers Andrew and Suzanne Stokes noticed how their two small children struggled with ill-thought out children's cutlery, they decided to come up with some new and expertly designed products specifically suited to little fingers.

TUM TUM children's dining range

TUM TUM is a range of children's tableware and other dining products that has been developed by parents.

Upper Booth Campsite

Leader grant funding has helped to fund new facilities at Upper Booth Campsite.

Vending machine

Following the installation of two milk vending machines at a farm near Ashover in December 2010, and their outstanding success in selling milk to the local people, the business was created to try similar machines elsewhere in villages where there is no local shop.

Watson's Farm Shop

The grant was used to refurbish an agricultural store and garage already owned by the farm, allowing the relocation of the existing farm shop from a small adjacent building.

Winster Village Shop

Leader was approached to help fund phase two of a project to redevelop Winster Village Shop, so that it could meet necessary trading and legal standards, increase the overall retail floor space and incorporate the village post office.

Wirksworth Swimming Pool Trust

Derbyshire Dales District Council like all local authorities has been required to make savings on its budget and there was some uncertainty over the future of the Wirksworth swimming pool.

Youlgrave Well taps conservation and interpretation

The project was to restore 12 historic communal taps. Taps from which residents of Youlgrave and Middleton would have traditionally drawn water before homes were connected to mains water.