Celebrating Rural Development Success - Issue 01 LEADER

Sharing Success - Edition 01 LEADER


Welcome to the first 'Celebrating Rural' newsletter. As we approach the last few years of the final EU Rural Development Programme, here at Wales Rural Network we thought it was an ideal time to look back at some of the achievements of the programme over the years and celebrate the difference that the funding has made to Wales' wonderful rural communities.

LEADER is the first scheme ton be featured but we will be concentrating on a different scheme each month so welcome case studies and stories for future publications.  Please email ruralnetwork@gov.wales with any contributions.

30 Years of LEADER Funding


The Background of LEADER Funding

LEADER is a local development method which has been used for 30 years to engage local actors in the design and delivery of strategies, decision-making and resource allocation for the development of their rural areas.

Short animation explaining EU initiative CLLD

Wales has 18 Local Action Groups (LAGs) spread geographically throughout the region. Each LAG applied for a share of the LEADER funding in 2014 and are responsible for the allocation of funds in their area.

The Wales Rural Network website directory currently has 733 LEADER projects listed with further funding continually being allocated.

What has LEADER Funding done for Wales?

Below is just a small sample of the support that LEADER has provided in rural areas and the difference it has, and continues to make to Rural Communities.

Projects that have helped tackle social isolation and provide services for everyone from the young and old, the vulnerable & people with disabilities, whilst funding projects spanning cross sector activity.


Video Case Studies from LEADER funding

Rural Development Programme Case Studies

Watch an outreach project in Neath Port Talbot that has helped rural communities access services and how a hydro scheme in Bethesda has benefited the community.

Powys Project Videos

Tasty looking LEADER projects in Powys.

The Internet of things

Rural areas Pilot an appropriate infrastructure.



The LEADER Scheme was a useful socio-economic tool in both the immediate response to the emergency in rural areas and the
longer-term recovery process. Welsh LAG’s identified immediate priorities on the ground.


Celebrating community led success in Pembrokeshire

Members of the Local Action Group for Pembrokeshire, Arwain Sir Benfro and PLANED staff welcomed a range of 19 completed projects (2019) who presented at a short celebration event.


Bloomfield House Community Centre - Older Persons Project Development Worker

Developing facilities in the community for older people.


Inspiring Pathways Project

Using art to combat social isolation amongst armed forces veterans and community members.


Rural Conwy LEADER Programme installs first Steora benches in the UK

The first Steora benches installed in the UK, in three communities in rural Conwy.


e bikes

E Bikes tackling Health Issues

Following extensive research with local GP’s, physiotherapists, exercise referral practitioners, social workers and the local community, it was clear that there was a desire to run the e-bike sessions.


Prescription Delivery Service

With continued reduction in the availability of public transport service in rural areas, Betws-y-Coed surgery decided something needed to be done.


Growing Healthy Together

A one year pilot project that was delivered in partnership between Neath Port Talbot CVS, DOVE Workshop and Glynneath Training Centre.


Severn Water Integration Management Project (SWIM)

The SWIM project aims to develop a new technique for managing flooding by using natural capital at a catchment scale to reduce downstream flood peaks.

LEADER & Beyond

The above projects are a very small example of projects from the 2014-2020 Programme, imagine what LEADER has achieved in 30 years!

LEADER funds the little Acorns that grow into big Oak Trees. Many large scale projects started with a feasibility study or a pilot activity that then grew into something really worthwhile that went on to apply and receive much larger funding amounts from other Rural Development Schemes as well as Lotto and Heritage Grants.



Wales Rural Network News provides a round-up of news, information and networking opportunities relating to the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. It helps to facilitate the sharing of common issues and examples of good practice within Wales, the UK and Europe. If you have items to contribute which are related to rural development in Wales, please contact Ruralnetwork@gov.wales

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