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Management of RDPE

The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas.

The Rural Development Programme for England in the Northwest – Summary

At a national level the RDPE programme will be managed by a Programme Monitoring Committee made up of representatives from Defra, Natural England, Regional Development Agencies and the Forestry Commission. Carlisle

At a Northwest level the RDPE programme is managed by a steering group including NWDA, Natural England, the Forestry Commission, Government Office North West and an independent third party chairperson. All of the principal delivery partners have contributed to drafting the Regional Implementation Plan and all are committed to the pursuit of the themes and priorities identified, and to the integrated delivery of RDPE in the Northwest.



The steering group has the responsibilities to: • • • • • •





Oversee programme delivery in the region Review performance and the Regional Implementation Plan. Monitor cross axis integration. Report on performance, programme management issues (focussing on integration, partnership and best practice) to The Regional Rural Strategic Group, North West Rural Affairs Forum and the National Programme Monitoring Committee. Capture best practice. To ensure effective communications.

Blackpool Burnley

Preston Blackburn Southport

Bolton Wigan


St Helens




Oldham Salford







Chester Crewe

For RDPE enquiries in the Northwest regarding Axis 1 and 3 telephone the NWDA on: 01768 861306 / 861321 Contact details for the Local Action Groups (Leader) in the Northwest are to be found on NWDA website. For Axis 2 enquiries please contact: Natural England – By telephone on 0161 237 1061 or by email or visit our website Forestry Commission – By telephone on 01768 776 616 or by email or visit our website Defra


European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)

The Northwest Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) The Northwest will receive approximately £374m of Rural Development Programme for England funding to invest in the region between 2008 and 2013. Partners in the region have developed a Northwest Regional Implementation Plan to determine how these resources are to be used over the period of the programme. Introduction - RDPE in the Northwest The Northwest Regional Development Agency, the Forestry Commission and Natural England have developed a Regional Implementation Plans, to determine how the RDPE resources are to be used. Uniquely, in the Northwest each of our 5 Sub-Regional Partners have produced Implementation Plans tailored to the agreed regional approach to fit sub-regional priorities.

Natural England and the Forestry Commission will deliver these objectives primarily through the Environmental Stewardship Scheme and the English Woodland Grant Scheme.

Themes identified in the Northwest

• • •

Theme One: Making agriculture and forestry more competitive and sustainable. • To encourage modernisation and diversification of farm and forestry businesses including adding value to primary produce. • To promote efficiency of resource use such as energy, water and nutrients. • To develop new markets for products e.g. woodfuel / biomass.

Theme Three: Enhancing opportunities and quality of life in rural areas. To encourage entrepreneurial and socio-economic activity. To promote rural tourism and access. To develop micro-business, and support rural service provision.

Theme Four: Developing skills, knowledge transfer and capacity building. • Improved skill access and employment within the farming, food and forestry. • Work with training network providers to increase the availbility and diversity of vocational training. Theme Two: Conserving and enhancing the • Initiatives that tackle the root causes of low environment and countryside. performance in the rural economy • Knowledge transfer and innovation • Conserve wildlife and biodiversity. • Maintain and enhance landscape quality and character. • Leadership development • Community capacity building • Protect the historic environment and cultural heritage • Promote public access and understanding of the countryside. • Protect natural resources. • Sustainable forest management and the creation of new woodland resources.

European and UK Context

Delivery of RDPE within the Northwest

The Community Strategic Guidelines are based on the policy priorities spelt out in the Gothenburg and Lisbon European Councils, in particular the principle that strong economic performance must go hand in hand with the sustainable use of natural resources. These community priorities have informed the selection of priorities for the European Union’s European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and in turn the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE).

The 5 Sub-Regional Implementation Plans prepared by Sub-Regional Partners highlight the socio-economic priorities for RDPE funding. These plans cover the rural areas of each of the following;

The EAFRD was approved in June 2005, to replace the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) to fund rural development under the second pillar of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for the period 2007 – 2013. The England programme was approved by the European Commission in December 2007 the RDPE presents the framework for the delivery of the EAFRD in England.

Issues An analysis of the socio-economic, environmental and sustainability conditions in the region was carried out with key regional stakeholders to form the basis for the Regional Implementation Plan. The key issues identified were: 1. Competitiveness and Growth The rural Northwest still faces significant long-term economic challenges and some fundamental problems regarding relatively low rates of innovation, enterprise and productivity. 2.

Climate Change and Energy Rural economic activity should move towards making a significant contribution to achieving a low-carbon and well adapted region. RDPE offers rural businesses and rural communities the opportunity to take up various forms of renewable energy, eg. Solar, Wind and Hydro.

3. Resource Protection The region’s natural environmental resources - its natural capital - has an estimated value to the Northwest’s economy of around £2.5 billion. Water protection and land management issues will continue to grow in importance. 4.

Sustainable Agriculture The Northwest’s agricultural sector is used to adapting and changing to shifting circumstances, such as unforeseen disease outbreaks and an increasingly globalised and cost-cutting market for agricultural products. The challenge is to maintain a viable and sustainable food and farming industry.


Forestry and Woodlands Woodland and forestry in Northwest England face several challenges. We have the opportunity to create new woodland (low cover at 6.8%) and make the most of the significantly under utilised resource through sustainable management, the stimulation of new markets and adding value to its products.

6. Biodiversity, Landscape and Heritage

The region’s rural landscapes are changing due to the effects of climate change, development, renewable energy production requirements and structural reform of agriculture. This change presents challenges but also opportunities for increased environmentally focused management.

7. Skills, Knowledge Transfer and Capacity Building

There is a more general need to build and develop leadership within rural communities, to increase levels of vocational training and deliver an increase in levels of knowledge transfer or research, in core areas such as animal welfare, renewable energy, resource efficiency and better business practice.

Cumbria Lancashire Greater Manchester Greater Merseyside Cheshire Copies of which can be found at There are three main headings (or axes) for the funding available through the RDPE programme. There will also be a fourth, cross cutting axis using the locally led Leader approach to implement measures under the other axes. Axis I Improving the competitiveness of the farming and forestry sector to be delivered via NWDA Axis II Improving the environment and countryside to be delivered via Natural England and The Forestry Commission Axis III Rural quality of life and diversification of the rural economy to be delivered via NWDA Axis IV The Leader approach which is a cross cutting method The main mechanism for the delivery of the socioeconomic priorities of the RDPE in the Northwest is the Leader approach. Which is a bottom-up, community led delivery method. Delivery is undertaken by Local Action Groups who will ensure that supported activities are within the context of the Sub-Regional Implementation Plans already agreed. Examples of the types of beneficeries and eligible activities Activity

Who will be eligible

Vocational Training Use of advisory services Modernisation of Agricultural Holdings Diversification into Non-agricultural activities Creation and development of micro-enterprise Basic Services for economy and rural population

Agricultural or Forestry business or social enterprise Farmers with woodland or owners of woodland Farmers and Landowners Members of a farm household Existing micro-enterprises and new micro-enterprises Businesses, social enterprises, charities and other formally constituted groups