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What is LEADER funding?

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The ‘LEADER’ approach is used to encourage people to become involved in improving and developing their own rural communities. The acronym LEADER comes from the French words “Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l’Économique Rurale” which means ‘Links between the rural economy and development actions’. The idea was to enlist the energy and resources of people and bodies that could contribute to the rural development process by forming partnerships between the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Activities under LEADER must be linked to one of the five following themes:

Adding value to local identity and natural and cultural resources:  Projects falling under this theme would include any activity that would encourage local residents to take an active approach to improving their local environment and/or facilitate increased levels of tourism.

Facilitating pre-commercial development, business partnerships and short supply chains:  Under this theme projects will work towards creating an enterprising environment that sustains and encourages the growth of new and existing micro and social enterprises in rural NPT.

Exploring new ways of providing non-statutory local services:  Through increasing pressure on Local Authority budgets, there has never been a greater need to find new ways of providing previously publically delivered services that are a non-statutory requirement. Projects that fall into this category will require new and innovative approaches.

Renewable energy at Community level:  Under this theme, projects will maximise the potential of the green economy in NPT, including piloting and encouraging the installation of renewable energy technologies to contribute to the sustainable development of rural areas.

Exploitation of digital technology:  Through the on-going rollout of superfast broadband there is a fantastic opportunity for NPT’s rural communities to exploit this resource to receive the maximum benefit from it. Projects will need to encourage and support residents of all ages to become proficient and confident in using ICT to access online services and help to alleviate the transport and isolation issues associated with rural areas. Similarly, businesses and social enterprises could be advised and assisted in using ICT to provide online services and cost effectively market their business.

Applications have now been submitted for the current round of LEADER funding.  Should additional funding become available under this scheme in the future, calls for further project proposals will be announced on this website.  Anyone wishing to discuss possible future project ideas should contact the RDP team.

Are you eligible to apply?  Answer a few short questions to find out!