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Support for LEADER local development (CLLD), including support for LEADER Local Action Groups and the delivery of Local Development Strategies.

In 1990, the European Commission established LEADER as a partnership-based approach for connecting people to Rural Development. LEADER is a French acronym, standing for ‘Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l'Économie Rurale’, meaning ‘Links between the rural economy and development actions’.

It has evolved through successive Programme periods and is included in the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 with the potential to support all 6 of the Priorities for Rural Development.  

The LEADER approach is associated with local empowerment through local strategy development and resource allocation. The main tool for the application of this approach to area development and involving local representatives in decision-making is the LEADER Local Action Group (LAG).

LEADER is a form of Community-Led Local Development (CLLD). Through a process of stakeholder engagement, building the capacity of target groups and co-operation, the problems faced and opportunities available to an area are recognised and potential solutions are piloted.    

The LAG designs and implements a Local Development Strategy for their area,  developing a partnership approach to effect social and economic development.  The results of experimental work under LEADER are disseminated and can inform future rural development.

Activities under LEADER must be consistent with at least one of the five LEADER themes for Wales:

  • adding value to local identity and natural cultural resources
  • facilitating pre-commercial development, business partnerships and short supply chains
  • exploring new ways of providing non-statutory local services
  • renewable energy at community level
  • exploitation of digital technology.

Examples of past LEADER projects can be found on our Wales Rural Network pages.

Further information on Local Action Groups.

Further details on the application criteria can be obtained by reading the EOI Guidance and supporting scheme documentation.