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Good Governance


SELEP’s rural economy is a vibrant mix of traditional and innovative land-based businesses including farming, horticulture, viticulture, forestry and rural tourism. These sit alongside a broad range of non-rural businesses. SELEP has a rural population of 936,000 (almost a quarter of the 3.9 million residents in the whole area) which is supported by our Rural Strategy that focuses on the local economy, communities and the environment.

SELEP Rural Strategy

Our current rural strategy was launched in March 2015 and is due to be refreshed as part of SELEPs revised thinking about our Local Industrial Strategy and the most appropriate way of targeting priorities and spend in response to the Covid19 pandemic.

To date it has provided an effective framework through which we have been able to support the rural economy at both a strategic level and through acting as a focal point for the delivery of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) which provided grants of £14.5 million to support business development in our rural areas. We also worked in partnership with the nine LEADER programmes within our area who have also provided grants to the rural sector.

These funding streams have now come to an end and we await news from Defra regarding the roll out of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and how the rural sector will be able to access funding through this new initiative.

SELEP Rural Strategy

Rural Working Group

The Rural Working Group represents our rural sector and meets on a regular basis to discuss key issues, share priorities and developments and act as a strategic sounding board for the LEP. It has a broad-based membership representing the key sectors in this part of the economy. It also acts as a light touch focal point for applications to the Sector Support Fund. To date two projects have been delivered with financial support from the fund with others already under consideration by the SELEP Board.

Rural Working Group Terms of Reference