LEADER is a European Union funded Community Development scheme. It focuses on delivering a bottom-up method of support for rural development within targeted rural areas.
Support is primarily aimed at small-scale, community-driven projects that are pilot and innovative in nature. The participation of the local community in the project is fundamental to the LEADER ethos of networking, co-operation, transferring knowledge and integrating activities and actions.
The delivery of LEADER is guided by the Local Development Strategy (LDS) for the particular area and managed by a Local Action Group.
The programme provides support to rural communities and business networks to build knowledge and skills, encourage innovation and cooperation to tackle local development objectives.
Grants are available from £5,000-£125,000 and 50% match funding is generally required.
To be eligible for funding the project should be:
- Based within the Local Development Strategy area
- Be innovative, sustainable and seek to benefit the local community
- Assist at least one of the LEADER target groups
- Contribute to one or more of the main themes and priorities of the Rural Strategy