Celebrating Rural Development Success - Issue 11 - LEADER Case Studies

Sharing Success - Issue 11 - LEADER Case Studies


Wales Rural Network Support Unit


What has the WRNSU been up to?

With The Rural Development Programme (RDP) now in it's final Calendar year and fast approaching the last Financial Year, our role has evolved with a greater emphasis on learning from best practice and the promotion of the projects that have received RDP funding.

We continue to promote the Network and The Programme, not only through our own Newsletters but through other WG Newsletters relevant to the industry reaching circa. 88,000 subscribers across all bulletins.

We continue to add news stories to the website and with the many projects having ended or approaching an end, the number of case studies added to the website in 2022 exceeded 200 and all can be viewed here.

This edition concentrates on some case studies that promote best practice from the LEADER funding over the life of this Programme.


Innovative Communities (LEADER) Case Study Examples

When we hear the word ‘Rural’, most peoples’ minds automatically think about Farming and Forestry. Rural Communities and the people who live and work in these communities, and very often not in the agricultural sector, are the beating heart of Wales but are most likely to suffer the effects of social exclusion.

Community Led Local Development aims to increase employment & skills and social enterprise. Local people are involved in developing projects in their areas that affect them, using resources in the area to address the local challenges that affect local people.

LEADER - funds specific and focused initiatives under the Local Development Strategy of each of the eighteen geographical Local Action Groups across Wales. There are five LEADER themes for Wales:

  • Adding value to local identity and natural and 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

Adding Value to Local Identity and Natural and Cultural Resources


Naturefix for Health and Wellbeing

The Naturefix for Health and Wellbeing cooperation project by Coed Lleol, delivered in Ceredigion, Merthyr and Neath Port Talbot aimed to integrate, promote and develop social prescribing to outdoor health & Wellbeing more fully into the health sector in Wales.


LEAF: Learning to Enable Achievement and Fulfilment

The project piloted delivery of the well-established Tir Coed training and engagement model in Ceredigion whilst trialling the delivery of a brand new five-day intensive progression course, leading to certification for participants.

This new programme developed on from Tir Coed’s accredited 12-week training course, and was developed to offer progression training to beneficiaries who wished to increase their skills and progress into different woodland related industries. This included piloting the logistics of delivering, assessing and certificating brand new subject areas.

Facilitating Pre-commercial Development, Business Partnerships and Short Supply Chains


Big Meadow CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)

Based in Llangennith, an isolated rural area on Gower with limited access to shops or choices to opt for local, package free food, the project has created a vibrant, sustainable food production scheme for its membership with regular volunteering opportunities and maximum community involvement, which gained support through RDP.

Visiting the site on a beautiful autumnal day we were shown around by Abbi who is a director of Big Meadow and her rescue dog Morris. Laura, the scheme's Volunteer Coordinator, was busy harvesting the seasonal vegetables still growing in the field.


Deorfa Wledig

It is believed that there are ways of strengthening the economy and the language at the same time, rather than seeing it as a problem.

There are lessons to be learnt from other parts of Europe and the need to work in new ways.

Exploring new ways of Providing Non-statutory Local Services


Covid-19: Community Action Organisations Support Project

Clwyd Alyn housing’s newly formed ‘Community Wellbeing’ team, to help them adapt their approach to best support North Wales residents who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This team is comprised of community and money advice/welfare rights officers. It has been set up to provide a service to vulnerable social-housing residents living in poverty. The pilot will test an innovative approach to providing non-statutory basic services to vulnerable people in the context of the pandemic and lockdown measures.


Mobile Recycling Pilot

With some residents having to make a 50 mile round trip to their nearest recycling depot, Conwy Cynhaliol’s Local Action Group (LAG) approved a project to trial running a mobile recycling service for the residents of Rural Conwy.

The service will be located at three locations across the rural area – Cerrigydrudion on the first Saturday of every month, Glasdir, Llanrwst on the second Saturday of every month and then Llangernyw on the third Saturday of every month.

Renewable Energy at Community Level


Our Futures People

With the effects of climate change and environmental degradation reported in world media, many young people are anxious about the planet’s future. Some young people actively seek ways to help the environment, others may be aware of the challenges but feel helpless, while others may not understand enough about a low carbon future.


Dog Friendly Tourism Pilot Scheme

There are now 65 participants in the project including shops, accommodation providers, places to visit, places to eat and drink and service providers. A Facebook page with 1105 followers, a active Twitter, Instagram and blog provide an interactive way for visitors and businesses to share information.

Exploitation of Digital Technology


Ceredigion Connected

The project has had a positive impact on the county as it has seen a significant number of residents and businesses supported to explore options and funding to improve broadband connectivity. As an outcome of this project, approval has been given for Town Wi-Fi access points, which shall enable Town Centre analysis and footfall counting within Aberaeron, Lampeter, Llandysul, Tregaron and New Quay.


Coding Clubs

The project will see collaboration between Conwy primary schools, Conwy County Council and Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor, to deliver a series of workshops and ongoing support aimed at establishing coding clubs in primary schools across Conwy and provide opportunities for Conwy children to learn how to code.

As well as providing training and support for the children and teachers at the rural schools, Chrome books have been purchased for the schools without or with only a limited supply of IT equipment.

Your Awareness and Experience of the Rural Development Programme Co-operation and Supply Chain Development Scheme (CSCDS)


Do you have Direct Experience of Engaging with the CSCDS at Scheme Level and / or Individual Projects or you may Merely have been Aware of the RDP focus on Collaboration.

Wavehill has been commissioned to undertake an evaluation of the RDP Co-operation and Supply Chain Development Scheme (CSCDS) by Welsh Government (WG). The evaluation will provide an independent assessment of scheme implementation and its impact.

The CSCDS was an invitation to organisations in rural communities in Wales to collaborate to make new things happen that can help to increase resilience. This survey is part of the evaluation of the scheme and is a way of finding out whether and how this has been achieved.

We are looking for your feedback!!



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

Find out more on the web:


Follow us on Twitter:



Follow us on Facebook:

Wales Rural Network


Follow us on Instagram:



Follow us on YouTube:

Wales Rural Network playlist