LEADER is a community-led, bottom-up approach that encourages cross-sector partnership working, networking and cooperation. The focus of the scheme is Community-Led Local Development (CLLD), and this is achieved by empowering Local Action Groups (LAGs) in the process of their own rural Development and allocating resources to them for this purpose.
The LAG is the decision-making body for allocating LEADER funds to projects in the local rural area. There are three LAGs in North East Wales: the Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham LAGs. Each LAG has a total of 18 members, drawn locally from community (6), private (6) and public sectors (6), as well as additional advisors from other bodies. Local Action Group members are required to attend quarterly meetings to discuss project applications and allocate funding to projects. These local champions have knowledge of rural issues and a body of experience gained from working in the community, public or private sector within the rural area. This is an unpaid, voluntary post and no financial risks accrue to Local Action Group members personally.
LEADER accounts for 5% of the RDP budget, which equates to approximately £47.5 million. In August 2015, the Welsh Government allocated this funding to the 22 LAGs across Wales. This established the following programme budgets per county (made up of EARDF, Welsh Government co-financing and local match funding):
The priorities and strategic vision for how the funds should be spent is captured in a Local Development Strategy (LDS). The LDS documents identify local needs, challenges and opportunities; and then outline a series of actions to meet set objectives for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
Cadwyn Clwyd is the Administrative Body operating on behalf of the North East Wales LAGs. For more information about LEADER and the application process, please contact Cadwyn Clwyd.