Yorkshire Dales Countryside Cyclist (by EMossHBC) Flowers 2 (YDMT) (EMoss) RiverWashburn Craven Hillsides (RSB) Mature Woodland (YDMT) Poppyfield (RSB)

A Community Led Approach to Sustainable Rural Development


Yorkshire Dales LEADER Programme has been set up to build a sustainable community and economy that capitalises on the area’s environment, landscape, culture and heritage.

What is LEADER?

Yorkshire Dales Leader Programme

The programme closed as of 09/05/2018


LEADER is a community-led rural development programme which aims to improve the quality of life and prosperity in rural communities through locally driven rural development initiatives and projects. The LEADER approach, an important constituent of the European Union’s Rural Development policy, has an approach which differentiates it from the other areas of the Rural Development Support. It is aimed at encouraging capacity building (developing the ability of local people to participate in the future development of their area) and using local initiative to improve the development potential of rural areas. 


Yorkshire Dales LEADER Programme 2014 to 2020


The Yorkshire Dales LEADER Programme has been set up to address the problems of ‘rurality’ within the Yorkshire Dales, it is a multi-agency partnership which brings together representatives from voluntary sector organisations, public bodies and private businesses working in the Yorkshire Dales LEADER area.


LEADER forms part of an overall package of rural activity as set out in the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE).


In the Yorkshire Dales LEADER area we seek to support actions/projects that fall within the following themes and meet one or more of the priorities:

1. Capitalising on the distinctive environment and cultural landscape

Our Priorities under this theme are to:

  • Strengthen the tourism industry building on the cultural, heritage and natural assets and the Dales identity.
  • Improve the sustainability for upland land management in the Dales.
  • Support the development of the local bioenergy and renewable energy supply chains

2. Developing a diverse rural economy

Our Priorities for support under this theme are to:

  • Support entrepreneurship and enable business growth.
  • Encourage the participation of young people and women in rural enterprise.

3. Creating sustainable communities

Our Priority for support under this theme is to:

  • Sustain and enhance rural services.


The Yorkshire Dales LEADER Programme will distribute £2.232 million for rural projects benefiting the area and the communities as outlined in the Map .

All LEADER funds are awarded by the Local Action Group, who award money to wide-benefiting projects. It is a highly competitive fund.


Full Guidance on the LEADER Programme can be found in the National Issued Applicant Handbook (link)

Want to know more? please contact the Programme Co-ordinator.


What Does Leader Mean?


LEADER stands for "Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l'Économie Rurale" which translates as "Links between the rural economy and development actions".


Features of the LEADER approach.


  • Has a clearly defined area with a local development strategy that is representative of a broad cross-section of the local economy.
  • involves local public-private partnerships in a Local Action Group (often shortened to LAG).
  • has a “bottom-up” approach with decision-making power for the Local Action Group.
  • involves innovative tailored solutions, identified locally, to meet the local needs.
  • involves active co-operation and joint action between other LEADER areas in other regions or other countries .
  • involves active Networking as a means of transferring good practice and innovation, to share and build on the lessons learned in local rural development.