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Local Development Strategy


This page contains information on:

  • priorities contained within the Local Development Strategy 
  • budgets contained within the Local Development Strategy
  • target outputs: what we must achieve with LEADER funding 

Priorities contained within the Local Development Strategy

Pennine Prospects’ mission is to use the unique natural and cultural assets of the South Pennines to create “a landscape for the future, a space for everyone and a resilient local economy”. The mature partnership and landscape scale of operations means the South Pennines can provide a “test-bed” for the implementation of the principles of sustainable development, using innovative methods. The future economic and cultural prosperity of the South Pennines depends on protecting and valuing the past, responsibly using the area’s Natural Capital, whilst finding new ways to create a living rural landscape for the 21st century. The area has been used as a pilot for a number of initiatives that seek to find the appropriate balance between these objectives and this Leader programme builds on this work.

In answer to the issues articulated by the SWOT analysis of the South Pennines, the overarching objectives and South Pennines LEADER priorities (SPLPs) that will guide the next LEADER programme are as follows:


SPLP1  Support sustainable economic growth in sectors that draw on the unique characteristics of the landscape of the South Pennines.

This can be achieved by:

  • working with businesses to use the distinctive qualities of the area to promote the local distinctiveness of the South Pennines as a product, thereby increasing the market worth of “The South Pennines” for businesses.
  • Supporting the creation, marketing and promotion of high quality local food and non-food environmental South Pennine products through businesses and through community growing and social enterprise
  • Strengthening linkages between environmental, heritage, creative, recreational and business tourism to create a stronger package
  • Enhancing the image of the South Pennines as a place to live, work, visit and invest
Activities that might be supported: 

Strengthen the economic value of the Local Distinctiveness of the South Pennines through

  • work with businesses to promote the local distinctiveness of the South Pennines as a product
  • creation of new local food and non-food environmental products thereby increasing the market worth of “The South Pennines” for businesses through further development of the “Made in the South Pennines” marketing initiative

Further develop the South Pennines Business Network (currently 354 members from tourism, local food and creative sector) to offer:

  • a Business Growth Fund, open to members of the South Pennines Network that focuses on provision of new or improved tourism services or products, new on-farm business ventures, business efficiency, market growth and development of supply chains, marketing and promotion etc.
  • a resource efficiency programme with associated behavioural change/ improvements.
  • bespoke workshops, locally specific on-line resources, business-to-business mentoring, one-to-one developmental sessions on issues such as social media and other marketing opportunities with a focus on the unique nature of local markets and supply chains. Where more generic business growth, training and skills development are required, these will be brokered in for the network, working with the Local Enterprise Partnerships. 

Grow specialist markets:

  • work in partnership with local and national organisations to grow the area’s specialist markets, provide opportunities for youth markets, start up business markets, meet the maker markets eg through developing and promoting events such as the Making and Doing Festival which seek to link artists, craftspeople and designer-makers, identify new routes to markets and undertake South Pennine wide promotion for tourism/business purposes.
  • work with established social enterprise models such as Incredible Edible and Totally Locally to promote both the ethos and practical action around locally grown and processed food and products to both local and regional markets.

Grow the events market through investigation, creation and support for social enterprise models for the delivery of events such as the “meet-the-maker”, Walk & Ride Festival and other Festivals, looking at cooperative expertise, marketing and sponsorship across the South Pennines. Also exploring the potential for national and international linkages in this area. 

Develop new methods for public and business engagement in the environmental economy through development of a Visitor Giving initiative for the South Pennines.


SPLP2  Develop a strategic approach to the natural environment of the South Pennines, maximising the socio-economic benefits and opportunities provided by the Natural Capital assets of the area.

This can be achieved by:

  • Encouraging greater partnership working and networking across the South Pennines,  extending collaboration between farm businesses by supporting the growth of farmer networks and producer groups, encouraging greater take-up of agri-environment schemes and the FFPS programme, and coordinating approaches to land management, facilitating good practice mentoring, training and support.
  • Developing more robust food supply chains for food and non-food agricultural products, encouraging collaboration and networking between producers, processors and consumers.
  • Linking and integrating agriculture with other types of on-farm economic activity such as tourism and woodland management that can act to reduce the dependency of farm households on income from farming, targeting and coordinating support and training to encourage more efficient farm business management.
  • Facilitating employment opportunities in asset management and the natural environment and create more economic opportunities for young people to facilitate on-farm succession by diversifying income. 
Activities that might be supported: 

Develop South Pennines farmers networks to:

  • offer bespoke locally specific workshops, business resources, business-to-business mentoring, cooperative activity (national and international), one-to-one developmental sessions on issues such as new technology, latest research and partnerships with universities with a focus on the unique nature of local markets and supply chains. Where more generic business growth, training and skills development are required, these will be brokered in for the network.
  • link and integrate agriculture with other types of on-farm economic activity such as tourism and woodland management that can act to reduce the dependency of farm households on income from farming, targeting and coordinating support and training to encourage more efficient farm business management.
  • support farmers to develop innovative projects for farm business performance, expansion and innovation that can be funded through the South Pennines LEADER Business Growth fund, or the FFPS scheme as appropriate.
  • support developmental and small grant work with hard to reach farm businesses who may not seek access to national schemes
  • create more opportunities for young people on farms by supporting measures that help succession planning
  • develop cooperative action between smallholders and the wider farmers network, including initiatives which improve access to machinery, improve land management and cooperatively share resources and knowledge.

Develop partnerships for South Pennine woodland management which will:

  • Strengthen partnership working across the sector working with partnership/social enterprise organisations such as South Pennine Woodlands and community forest partnerships such as Pennine Edge Forest to invest in specialised forestry gear, investigating collective/shared ownership and buying.
  • develop the opportunities for equipment sharing networks
  • break down the barriers to markets for all types of woodland products by improving supply chains and product quality
  • deliver woodfuel biomass opportunities for heat generation and develop potential supply opportunities from waste wood and under-managed woodland
  • develop management plans for local woodland, particularly those that are difficult to manage, looking at forestry skills, social inclusion, green wood working and crafting, dry stone walling and other erosion control/land services skills and also education and health and wellbeing potential of woodlands.
  • develop community engagement and investment models that result in the effective and sustainable delivery of woodland management  

SPLP3 Promote social inclusion and maximise the opportunities for communities in and around the South Pennines to benefit from the area.

This can be achieved by:

  • Supporting businesses and initiatives that improve physical and intellectual access to the area’s landscape and heritage;
  • Understanding the economic value of ecosystem services to economic and environmental resilience;
  • Generating energy from local sustainable sources of supply, through on-farm activity and/or community enterprise;
  • Supporting businesses initiatives that reintroduce, develop or strengthen the opportunities for sustainable land management training and improvement of skills, facilitating employment opportunities in managing the built and natural environment;
  • Supporting businesses and initiatives that retain and develop young, local entrepreneurial skills and talent. 

Activities that might be supported:

Support businesses and activities that improve the visitor recreational infrastructure of the area in the following ways:  

  • develop infrastructure and collective marketing projects that promote walking, riding, cycling and canal boating across the area where there is a clear economic gain from public infrastructure investment. Look at particular market opportunities around heritage routes (packhorse trails) and trails that have national profile such as the Pennine Way (50th Anniversary in 2015) and Bridleways, Routes 66 and 68 to capitalise on the Tour de France legacy etc. Take opportunities to develop projects that maximise the potential of such high profile recreational routes in contributing to support and development of rural tourism and other micro-businesses. 
  • Develop green access infrastructure such as cycle storage/parking, electric car charging etc
  • Where possible, promote the use of the “community task force”  or “OWLs” model as a vehicle for developing and improving cycling, canal and countryside access infrastructure, funding supervision, equipment, travel, brokerage of skills, capital spend for construction and engineering requirements. This would allow for the creation and development of walking/cycling/riding facilities in key locations or hubs of activity where it can be proven that projects will clearly result in increased visitor numbers and spend. 

Invest in community and on-farm energy projects 

  • Increase the capacity of emerging and existing partnerships that understand the current potential of community and on-farm renewable energy opportunities within the South Pennines and how these can be further developed through use of Leader and the Rural Community Energy funding. For example, supporting the development of the Calderdale Community Energy Company and their work developing new community cooperatives and enterprises to deliver community power schemes. Also supporting the development of on-farm local energy networks to encourage collaborative investment.  
  • Develop community engagement and investment models that result in the delivery of community energy projects: investing in activities in the feasibility stage of projects prior to the creation of social enterprise, ie community capacity, animation and partnership, navigating through tax systems and legal agreements, assisting with charges for technical assessments and business planning, tender processes for installation, project management and grid connection and marketing planning.

Support the development, extension or renovation of community hubs where this brings:

  • new economic services to a village or town eg community shops, business space or other services.
  • improved economic management of the facility through diversification into different activities resulting in increased usage or improved energy management for example
  • Development of digital community hubs to assist with the delivery of digital services using community enterprise such as Keighley Youth Group to start the roll out a programme of activity across the South Pennines.

Targets Outputs : what we must achieve with LEADER funding 

The Local Development Strategy sets out the expected target outputs that will be achieved with Leader spend. The final agreed outputs will be determined by the final budget allocation should the bid be successful. The Local Action Group will be tasked to ensure that all projects deliver against these targets. 

Minimum Number of projects supported : 52
Minimum Number of jobs created (FTE) : 36
Minimum Number of businesses supported : 200
Minimum Number of jobs safeguarded : 25

Thus LEADER activity in the new programme 2015 -2020 must:

  1. Be based on an evidence of need, and one which is preferably linked to the SWOT analysis for the South Pennines found here
  2. EITHER directly support the rural economy eg through creating and developing micro and small sized rural businesses (70% of the programme must do this) OR must demonstrate that activity contributes to improving the local rural economy eg by increasing visitors to a particular area or providing an essential rural service;
  3. Must have match funding
  4. Must demonstrate clear economic outputs and outcomes