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What is Leader?

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The LEADER approach is based on empowering local people to develop their own local strategies and make decisions about how and where funding should be spent.The acronym ‘LEADER' derives from the French words "Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l'Économique Rurale" which means, ‘Links between the rural economy and development actions'. 

LEADER is a delivery mechanism for funding from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE). It uses local knowledge to promote integrated “bottom up”, community-led delivery of part of the RDPE funding. More information about LEADER nationally can be found here.

The LEADER  programme in the South Pennines is run by a Local Action Group, made up of individuals from the private, public and voluntary sectors, and funds are targeted on rural areas with particular needs or priorities.

The LEADER vision for the South Pennines is set out in a Local Development Strategy (LDS). This document is used as a basis for making decisions on LEADER funding over the life of the programme. The document is produced by the Local Action Group and it seeks to represent the views of the community as widely as possible. 

Whilst LEADER has a “bottom up” ethos, LEADER funding is bound by European rules and regulations and the Local Development Strategy has to align with the national and regional policy framework.