£3.2 million win for rural projects in the Waveney Valley

An application led by local people to promote the communities, businesses and enterprises in the Waveney Valley area has won over £3 million of funding awarded by the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) through the Rural Development Programme for England.

Funding totalling in excess of £20 million is to be allocated between now and 2013 to Local Action Groups across the East of England through the Leader approach. The Leader approach is a community led ‘bottom up’ approach to project delivery where a group made up of private businesses and community interests provide a key role in defining and addressing local needs.

The Waveney Valley Local Action Group was one of six groups in the East of England to be successful in its application for funding under the Rural Development Programme for England. The group has been given the go ahead to develop in full a six year investment programme to increase the economic opportunities in the area and help land based businesses, rural businesses and communities.

The Waveney Valley Group’s projects have multiple aims through which they hope to raise not only the profile but also the sustainability criteria of the area. It will achieve this by building partnerships and improving communication between suppliers and consumers, develop further business capacity and improve the sustainability of existing producers situated in the Waveney Valley.

Richard Ellis, chair EEDA, said:
“I am delighted that Waveney Valley Local Action Group has been successful in its bid to develop an investment programme worth in excess of £3 million using RDPE funding . These funds will help the group identify innovative solutions to their local needs and improve the competitiveness and sustainability of local land based and other rural businesses.

“Each of the groups offers strong and exciting programmes of local development and I look forward to seeing the results.”

Michael Mack of the Waveney Valley Local Action Group said:
“The Waveney Valley is a very special place as all those that live in it know. As the area has never worked as one on a programme we are very exited about the opportunities that this unity will create. The development of the Waveney Valley identity will be a key focus of our work over the next 6 years. During the writing of the Local Development Strategy we have already seen the strength of the businesses and communities in the valley, through working with these strengths we believe that this funding will have a dramatic effect on the people and environment that make up this beautiful area.”

The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) is funded jointly by the European Union and the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra), and will see a total of £65 million invested in the region over the next six years. A proportion of the funding is to be delivered through the Leader approach, which channels funding through local action groups. The competitive selection process to identify the best applications from local action groups capable of identifying the needs of their area and of delivering multi-million-pound investment programme began in 2007.

Ed Palferman, EEDA press officer
Tel: 01223 200871 Fax: 01223 713940
Email: [email protected]

Due to the level of work we have to do over the next few months to get the projects up and running we at NRBAS are unable to talk about specific funding bids which are looking for funding for a Leader area at present.

Please could I advise you to lodge any ideas on the www.ruraladvice.co.uk website using the contact form so that I have all the relevant contact details and the project idea. As soon as the delivery system starts to take shape we will be looking through these ideas to develop the first set of grant applications.

Thanks, Mike

Michael Mack JP NSch

Norfolk Rural Business Advice Service
Easton College
01603 748844