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LEADER is a French acronym which roughly translates to ‘Liaison among Actors in Rural Economic Development’. Basically it’s mission is to support projects that will boost the rural economy.

It is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) and is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).


National priorities

There are six national priorities set by Defra and projects must fall into at least one of them:

LEADER funding is distributed using a community-led approach. There are eighty LEADER areas across England and each one has their own Local Action Group (LAG). They are made up of volunteer representatives from the private, public and third sectors who steer the direction of the programme at a local level and make grant decisions.

Oxfordshire LAG

Oxfordshire LAG cover parts of the rural county but some parts are also covered by the CotswoldsNorth Wessex Downs and Chilterns LAGs. Please check our downloadable map to see if your project falls into a LAG area and which one.

Oxfordshire LAG are particularly keen on projects that:

  • Grow, sell and eat more local food: Equipment and facilities to process, sell and eat local food and drink. Education enterprises and events that promote locally-produced food, healthy eating and waste reduction.
  • Create vibrant villages: Community enterprises and facilities that generate income to be self-sustaining, increase visitors to the area, provide a community hub and support the most vulnerable groups such as the elderly, unemployed and families.
  • Revive our rivers and canal: Projects that support boating, cycling, walking, cafes, festivals, accommodation and improved infrastructure on the rivers and canal.
  • Unlock the potential of woodlands: Equipment for forestry businesses and wood-using businesses to increase productivity and develop new markets that will improve the demand and management of local wood.

Click here for a summary sheet on the local priorities and objectives. For a more detailed look at the background to these priorities please see the full Local Development Strategy (LDS) for Oxfordshire LAG.

If you’re interested in volunteering to be a part of the Oxfordshire Local Action Group please contact us via the details at the bottom of this page.

The Oxfordshire LAG is administered by Programme Manager Ian Sparkes, who is based at South Oxfordshire District Council.

We work closely with the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) to ensure compliance with national and European requirements.

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