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The Wash Fens Local Action Group (LAG) has been successful in securing £1.67 million from the new Rural Development Programme for England LEADER funding programme. Over the next 5 years the LAG, supported by Lincolnshire County Council, will distribute grants to local businesses, farmers and community organisations in support of activities that generate jobs and growth in the rural economy.

What is LEADER funding?

LEADER is one of the delivery methods being used to distribute funds from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE). 

Through LEADER, local people with relevant experience and local knowledge have delegated responsibility for deciding which projects they will fund in their areas.

What area does the Wash Fens LAG cover?

The Wash Fens area covers rural parts of Boston Borough and South Holland District plus a strip along the eastern edge of South Kesteven from Stamford and the Deepings up to Bourne. There are also two small areas that are just outside of the Lincolnshire boundary; the northern outer edge of Stamford in Rutland and the southern edge of Market Deeping in Peterborough City.

LEADER is only available in rural areas. The urban settlements of Boston and Spalding are not eligible for LEADER funding. However the LAG area extends right up to the urban fringes of these towns.  

What is a Local Action Group (LAG)?

The LAG is the group responsible for implementing LEADER in an agreed rural area.  It brings together individuals and organisations from the local public, private and community sectors (Membership List).  To become an approved LAG, groups must first develop a Local Development Strategy that sets out how they will invest RDPE funding to deliver jobs and growth in their area. 

The LAG is supported by a small team of paid staff employed by Lincolnshire County Council who act as Accountable Body for the LEADER programme in Lincolnshire. The Accountable Body is responsible for delivering the programme on behalf of the LAG.  It undertakes to ensure that financial propriety and compliance with EU regulations is observed. 

What is a Local Development Strategy (LDS)?

The LDS sets out the strategic direction and priorities that the LAG will focus on to improve their rural economy.   The strategy will be reviewed and developed by the LAG over the lifetime of the Programme. 

The Wash Fens Local Development Strategy identifies three key funding priorities that the LAG will focus on to maximise growth.  To be successful, funding applications must contribute to one or more of these priorities: 

  1. World Class Producer of Agri-Food - Increase investment in agriculture, the food industry and its supply chain to drive productivity, improve sustainability and reinforce the area’s position as a centre for food excellence.
  2. Leading Edge Businesses - Create a strong, diverse economy by encouraging the take up of new technology and innovation, supporting businesses to diversify, exploit new markets, improve productivity and benefit from an adequate supply of business accommodation.
  3. Desirable Destination, Enviable Lifestyle – Use the area’s key assets to sensitively develop a stronger visitor offer, provide improved local amenities and create more opportunities for people to enjoy natural, cultural and heritage attractions. Support market towns and rural communities to become more prosperous and implement new approaches to service delivery.

How long will the LEADER programme run?

The programme is planned to run until March 2019 when all funds should be allocated and approved by the Local Action Group. All project funded expenditure will need to be completed within the following year.


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Last updated: 4 May 2017

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