LEADER is a locally based approach to rural development. It aims to deliver activities which support the countryside and rural communities, encouraging a sustainable management of agriculture and environment.

LEADER comes from the French abbreviation for ‘Liaison Entre Actions pour le Development de L’Economie Rural’ which roughly translates as ‘links between actions for developing the rural economy.’

LEADER seeks to support innovative responses to opportunities or challenges faced in rural areas.

LEADER has a number of key features:

  1. It has a ‘bottom up’ approach to rural development i.e. that local people participate in the priorities to be pursued in their local area.
  2. Innovation – provides opportunities for testing out new ideas and working in different ways.
  3. Cooperation – is to undertake a joint project with another Leader group, or with a group taking a similar approach, in another region or Member State. Such cooperation can help Leader groups to boost their local activities and can provide opportunities for mutual learning.
  4. Networking – Exchanging achievements, experiences and know-how between Leader groups, rural areas, administrations and organizations involved in rural development. It represents a means of transferring good practice, of disseminating innovation and of building on the lessons learned from local rural development.

Click here to see how the LEADER approach works in Ceredigion.