The last EU LAZ LEADER funding initiative closed in December 2013. The programme was delivered through Defra and Lincolnshire County Council with financial contributions by East Lindsey District Council and West Lindsey District Councils.
As part of the 2014 'transition' year LAZ has submitted a new strategy as part of the application to become a LEADER group in the next programme 2015 - 2020. A fourth group in Lincolnshire has prepared a strategy for submission. As part of the wider Greater Lincolnshire Enterprise Partnership area, there is also a fifth group; North Lincolnshire LEADER. Notification of successful LEADER areas is expected in November 2014 with a likely start date of January 2015.
Background to the 2007-2013 programme
In 2008, Lincolnshire County Council worked with local residents and organisations to form a Local Action Group (LAG) partnership based in a geographical area now known as the Lindsey Action Zone (LAZ) to bid for funding from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
The LAG developed a Local Development Strategy (LDS) which was implemented by instigating and supporting projects to apply for funding through the LEADER Approach element of the Rural Development Programme for England.
To find out more please follow the links below;
The LEADER Approach
The Lindsey Action Zone (LAZ) Local Action Group (LAG) partnership was formed in 2008 using the LEADER approach. The LEADER Approach is thought to be an effective tool to assist rural communities to improve the quality of life and economic prosperity in their local area by:-
- Engaging communities in developing their own plans for the future
- Generating a bottom-up, participative approach to solving local issues
- Developing new business and social opportunities
- Improving local capacity and governance
'LEADER' is a European Union initiative for assisting rural communities to improve the quality of life and economic prosperity in their local area. It was introduced as a 'Community initiative' financed under the EU Structural Funds. LEADER is now part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), which is administered by the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), In the regions, the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) have the responsibility for delivering the RDPE, and therefore the LEADER initiative.
In 1991 LEADER 1 provided rural communities in the EU with the resources to play an active role in shaping their own future. Information gained from evaluations and rural stakeholders indicates that the LEADER approach worked well in quite different situations and types of areas. There have been three generations of Leader: Leader I (1991–93), Leader II (1994–99) and Leader+(2000–06).
Through LEADER EU rural policy-making has adapted well to the extreme diversity of rural areas’ needs in Europe. For these reasons, it has now become an integral part of European rural development policy. For the 2007-13 programming period LEADER is no longer a separate programme but has been integrated (‘mainstreamed’) into all national/regional Rural Development Programmes. New possibilities have been opened for the LEADER approach to be applied on a far wider scale and across a much broader range of rural development activities than before.
To understand more about the LEADER approach there is a useful European Commission document called "The LEADER approach - A Basic Guide", which is available to download by clicking the link.
* The LEADER acronym means ‘Links between rural development actions’ (from the French - Liaisons entre actions de developpement rural).