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RDPE 2014-2020

The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) provides money for projects to improve agriculture, the environment and rural life.  It is managed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

LEADER is one of the delivery methods being used to distribute RDPE funding.

The Wash Fens is one of 80 approved Local Action Group (LAG) areas in England, and one of four in Lincolnshire, where LEADER will operate.

What type of projects can LEADER fund?

There are six national priorities for LEADER:

  1. Increase farm productivity
    Grants will support a wide range of farm investments. They are particularly for businesses that want to invest in innovative business practices and new technologies to help them become more sustainable and productive. There are 3 main types of projects that could be supported.
    Read more
  2. Support micro & small businesses and farm diversification
    These grants are for developing or starting micro and small businesses and for farm diversification projects.
    Read more
  3. Boost rural tourism
    The kinds of tourism projects that are likely to attract funding will be those developing high quality visitor products and services that link tourism providers, extend the tourism season and encourage visitors to stay.
    Read more
  4. Provide rural services
    These grants are for projects that aim to alleviate some of the difficulties faced by rural communities, particularly the lack of access to services and the provision of infrastructure.
    Read more
  5. Provide cultural and heritage activities
    These grants focus on the promotion, enhancement and maintenance of cultural heritage assets and events where this promotes growth in the tourism economy.
    Read more
  6. Increase forestry productivity
    Forestry is making an increasing contribution to rural growth - it is helping to diversify the farm economy and reduce the carbon footprint of local communities.
    (Not available in Wash Fens)

Funding applications must contribute to one or more of the above priorities.

All LEADER funded activities must also make a contribution to growing the rural economy, such as creating new jobs, growing businesses, improving productivity and efficiency, increasing tourism visitors or providing new services.  Grants can be accessed by businesses, farmers, foresters and those involved in tourism, heritage and community initiatives.

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.

How to apply


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Last updated: 3 May 2017

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