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LEADER funding

The LEADER programme was part of the Rural Development Programme for England (2014-2020), funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

Funding was available to support farm productivity, diversification, starting and developing micro or small rural businesses, tourism and support services, developing or maintaining cultural or heritage projects and in the North Pennine Dales area increasing forestry production.

LEADER areas in County Durham

The North Pennine Dales

Covered Teesdale, Weardale, South Tynedale, rural mid-Durham and rural Gateshead.

The Durham Coast and Lowlands

Covered the majority of East Durham including Castle Eden, Easington and Murton and the south lowlands area of the county including Sedgefield, Newton Aycliffe, Ferryhill and Coxhoe. The west boundary includes Sherburn, Shincliffe, Pittington, and East and West Rainton.

How funding was allocated

Both LEADER areas had a Local Action Group (LAG) with an Executive Board made up of private and public representatives, each member represented an interest in one of the LEADER priorities as well as one or more of the geographic areas in their LEADER area.

The Executive Board reviewed applications for funding, making decisions after assessing a project's:

  • Eligibility
  • Fit with national and local priorities
  • Need and demand (for the project and public funding)
  • Value for money 
  • Deliverability and sustainability.

Applications closed

Although LEADER funding is now closed to new applications, please contact us if you would like to discuss rural funding.

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