Most grants are usually administered by regional or national organisations, but under LEADER grant schemes, the funds are put into the hands of local action groups (LAGs) for them to disburse to projects that can help address local problems and opportunities.
LAG members are drawn from private businesses (including people involved in forestry, farming and other rural businesses), the public sector and voluntary/community organisations. This ensures that the Kent Downs and Marshes LEADER and East Kent LEADER funding is being used to fund local responses to identified local needs.
The LAG Executive is a subgroup of the wider LAG and is the decision making body which ensures that the Kent Downs and Marshes LEADER and East Kent LEADER is being delivered according to the Local Development Strategy (LDS) and annually prepared Business Plan and appraises the full grant applications for approval. This group meets every 6-8 weeks.
The six national priorities for LEADER funding under the new programme are:
- Support for increasing Farm Productivity
- Support for micro and small enterprises and farm diversification
- Support for rural tourism
- Provision of rural services
- Support for cultural and heritage activities
- Support for increasing forestry productivity
Throughout all priorities the emphasis is on providing jobs and growth within the rural economy.