Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE)
The new Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) opened for business on the 18th January 2008 and runs to 2013; it replaced the England Rural Development Programme (ERDP). The RDPE is jointly funded by the EU, through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, and the UK Government. The RDPE provides a wide range support for capital projects and training for farmers, growers, foresters, food businesses and rural communities.
A significant proportion of RDPE funds is distributed through the LEADER model - a community based bottom-up approach that provides opportunities for local communities to identify their needs and devise appropriate, sustainable, solutions. The LEADER approach involves establishing Local Action Groups, which will receive a budget to support projects to implement their local development strategy.
Leader supports a range of schemes to create wealth in rural areas. For example, to help increase the sale value of local produce; to provide renewable energy which will reduce businesses' running costs and tackle climate change; and to increase profits from tourism. The funds help develop new enterprises as well as providing major opportunities for businesses and communities to work together to invest in their future.
Leader in Hampshire
The Local Action Groups, consisting of a wide range of sector and industry representatives, have been awarded a total of £6 million of Leader funding to help revitalise and support rural businesses and rural communities in Hampshire.
The Local Action Groups cover: the Loddon & Eversley Heritage area in North Hampshire; The New Forest; the rural parts of Winchester and East Hampshire districts known as Fieldfare. Farmers, foresters, growers and rural businesses in these areas will be able to apply for a share of the new £6 million Leader funding through grants of up to £50,000 (subject to the completion of contracts between the Local Action Groups and SEEDA).
Local Action Groups
The Field Fare Local Action group (Winchester & East Hants)
Chair: Sir James Scott
Grant awarded: £2million
Contact: Ken Brown (Programme Co-ordinator) - KBrown@winchester.gov.uk (01962 848588)
The North Wessex Downs and the Three Harbours (the coastal area covering Arun Coastal Plain, Manhood Peninsula, Chichester and Langstone Harbours) Local Action Groups were also successful in securing funding. For details of these and other successful Local Action Groups in the South East see the SEEDA Leader webpage.