What is LEADER?
Priority 6 or LEADER is the way that decisions are made about what projects are funded under the Priority 6 Schemes. The decisions are made by local people about their own areas based on the premise that they are the ones who know best what their local area needs and what projects will best fill that need. The aim of the Leader approach is to increase the capacity of local rural community and business networks to build knowledge and skills, innovate and co-operate in order to tackle local development objectives.
To make this possible Priority 6 set up ten Local Action Groups (LAGs) to deliver the LEADER Schemes on behalf of the department. LAGs are voluntary and are made up of local government representatives and social partners.
Each LAG has been allocated a rural development budget to enable them to pursue the strategic objective set out in the Local Rural Development Strategy they compiled for the area they represent. They are permitted to spend up to 22% of the value of their projects on administration.
You have been invited to make an application
If you have been invited to make an application to a funding call view the open funding calls.
What can I get funding for? - the LEADER Schemes
The Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014-2020 aims to improve the quality of life in rural areas by supporting a wide range of projects including:
Rural Business Investment Scheme
Support for investments in creation and development of non-agricultural micro and small business activities.
Rural Basic Services Scheme
Support for investments in the setting up, improvement or expansion of local basic services for the rural population including leisure and culture, and the related infrastructure.
Rural Broadband Scheme
Support for community lead broadband infrastructure, including its creation, improvement and expansion, passive broadband infrastructure and provision of access to broadband and public e-government.
Village Renewal Scheme
Support for drawing up and updating of plans for the development of municipalities and villages in rural areas and their basic services and of protection and management plans relating to Natura 2000 sites and other areas of high nature value.
The LEADER Schemes under Priority 6 of the approved Rural Development Programme will be delivered by Local Action Groups (LAGs) on behalf of DARD. Get the details for the LAG in your area below.
How do I find out more? - Information for prospective applicants
LEADER is delivered on behalf of the Department by ten Local Action Groups (LAGs) there is one LAG for each new council area except rural Belfast which is covered by Lisburn. LAGs will assist an applicant through all aspects of the application process from attending a funding workshops before making an application through to submitting claims and checking targets have been achieved after the project is complete.
You may still apply to the programme if you have had European funding before, however you need to be aware of the State aid/De minimis rules that apply.
LEADER Delivery Body (LAG) Information
DARD contact points:
General Queries: RDDLeader@dardni.gov.uk
|LAG||DARD Local Office address||Phone|
Carnbane Industrial Estate
|028 3025 3256|
||121a Broughshane Street
|028 2566 4768|
|028 8225 3507|
Operating rules and guidance documents
- Local Action Group (LAG) Board operating rules
- Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 Priority 6 Desk Instructions
More useful links
- LEADER Facebook page
- Enterprise NI
- Invest NI go for it programme
- EU CAP payments search
- EU exchange rate calculator