Proposals for National Rural Network support for LEADER, and LEADER cooperation.

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1 Proposals for National Rural Network support for LEADER, and LEADER cooperation. Presented by: Ed Dyson Date: 24 th September 2014, LEADER Exchange Group

2 A. Network support for LEADER Environment Agency Forestry Commission CAP stakeholders RDPE stakeholders RDPE Network Support Unit RPA especially local Rural Developme nt Teams LEPs and other Growth Programme stakeholders Brings together comms and engagement across RDPE, including activities of Delivery Bodies and stakeholders. RDPE External Working Group provides strategic direction. Plan of activities co-ordinated by Network Support Unit. 2.1m Technical Assistance budget ( ) for Network Support Unit activities and 4-5FTE costs. Responds to recommendations from independent evaluation (including whole RDPE approach and strategic 2 involvement of stakeholders).

3 Mandatory activity areas for NRNs EAFRD support under Article 51(3) shall be used for the preparation and implementation of an action plan covering at least the following: (i) activities regarding the collection of examples of projects covering all priorities of the rural development programmes; (ii) activities regarding the facilitation of thematic and analytical exchanges between rural development stakeholders, sharing and dissemination of findings; (iii) activities regarding the provision of training and networking for local action groups and in particular technical assistance for inter-territorial and transnational cooperation, facilitation of co-operation among local action groups and the search of partners for the measure referred to in Article 35; (iv) activities regarding the provision of networking for advisors and innovation support services; (v) activities regarding the sharing and dissemination of monitoring and evaluation findings; (vi) a communication plan including publicity and information concerning the rural development programme in agreement with the Managing Authorities and information and communication activities aimed at a broader public; (vii) activities regarding the participation in and contribution to the European network for rural development. 3

4 Principles and constraints Limited resources in the NRN as in the Programme what should the priorities be for LEADER networking? We should work alongside and strengthen existing networks how best to do this? Area networks? Thematic e.g. upland and lowland networks? The NRN is a network of networks e.g. RPA s Rural Development Team will have particular role in supporting LEADER networking and providing training/core capacity building for LAGs. What networking activities do you think should be provided by Network Support Unit? RDT? LAGs? Others? How can LAGs take the initiative? The NRN will foster innovation and knowledge transfer across the programme how best to support innovation in LEADER, and link LEADER to other areas of the RDPE and the Growth Programme? 4

5 NRN activities conclusions from EWG EWG important feedback loop /networking hub consistent, timely and joined-up messages for regional dissemination; could e.g. ensure integrated approach to innovation across RDP Stakeholder orgs/networks offer a wide range of channels for communication, networking, training; co-host events/workshops; support familiarisation with CAPD IT; innovation pilots; can help change behaviours and perceptions, building on traditional management NSU share best practice, case studies across programme; website/blog; newsletter; facilitate programmes of events; package of comms material that can be used by others; innovation support EIP. Focus - don t do too much! Delivery Bodies keep NRN informed of opportunities, deadlines; share implementation plans; identify training needs MA/Defra ensure stakeholders can engage; collect info on innovation, local and international R&D., link with EIP network. 5

6 Proposed networking activities Activity Information hub/resource Co-operation Training for LAGs Networking EU level engagement/learning Dialogue with Government Mechanism GOV.UK website, online project database, case study analysis, Network newsletter Facilitation of informal and formal co-operation via website, ENRD and events. Initial focus on promoting RDT programme of training/capacity building for LAGs LEADER-specific and whole-programme networking including to promote innovation, and for advisor networks. RDT could support local and/or thematic networking? Active participation of NRN members in ENRD including events, study visits and online tools for co-operation etc. Re-establish LEADER Exchange Group once new LAGs announced. Others? 6

7 Questions for discussion What should the priorities be for LEADER networking? How should we work alongside and strengthen existing networks? Can we support area based networks? Is there scope for upland LAG and lowland LAG networks? What networking activities do you think should be provided by Network Support Unit? RDT? LAGs? Others? How can LAGs take the initiative? How best to support innovation in LEADER, and link LEADER to other areas of the RDPE and the Growth Programme? 7

8 B. Co-operation can take many forms: Formal co-operation projects under LEADER Co-operation projects involving other funds? Informal co-operation/collaboration/networking UK and EU-level co-operation/collaboration Approach in other parts of UK? 8

9 LEADER co-operation under RDPE LAGs have no set requirements to undertake cooperation projects, but RDPE aims to encourage both formal and informal co-operation. To ensure resources are available: up to 2m in RDPE to support formal LEADER co-operation, calls operated by Network Support Unit and RDT. Network Support Unit can facilitate UK and EU level co-operation. Other co-operation activity including informal cooperation can be supported by LAG M&A budget. details of proposals are not fixed 9

10 Example 1: between LAGs in England Auto Chestnut Coppicing - forestry diversification project to develop and testing innovative machinery that would automate the process of splitting chestnut coppice. Funding: 100k total project size at 50% intervention with 25k - North Nottinghamshire LAG and 25k - West Kent LAG Development of project Chestnut is farmed in West Kent. There was a decline in the sector due to the age of the workers and the hard manual work involved. The processor is based in Nottinghamshire and had expertise in automated wood products. West Kent contacted North Nottinghamshire to see whether a joint project would be possible - sharing costs and limiting risks. (http://www.jonwalkertimber.co.uk/chestnut-products.htm) Outputs: 30 jobs created/safeguarded Benefits to both areas increased market for chestnut by diversifying into different/new products; increased turnover for processor who is hoping to mass market the new automated machines. 10

11 Example 2: UK-level co-operation Cheviotfutures an initiative committed to providing practical real-world solutions to the challenges communities face to the effects of climate change. Funding: - 249,547 (English contribution - 137,547; Scottish contribution 112,000) Partners : Northumberland Uplands LAG and Scottish Borders LAG Development of project : Partners identified similar geographical features across the border and similar climate change predictions Land management communities have links across the border Developed a network of demonstration projects covering a range of climate change issues informing policy negotiations on agri-environment schemes; Initiating broader activity on flood management Outputs: Skills transfer by using land manager and local contractors Links to broader projects across the EU Wildfire simulation exercise Direct benefits to the local economy and local universities Lessons learnt benefit both countries and respective policy framework Broader perspective strengthens and improves local decisions and provides new opportunities 11

12 Examples of projects Wildfire Natural Flood Management Resource Protection 12

13 Example 3: trans-national co-operation Nature Tourism Project to develop and promote a range of nature and culture based tourism products encouraging visitors to stay longer and spend more. Funding: Euros, (approx 573,009) Partnering countries: England; Scotland; Finland; Portugal; Hungary; France; Cape Verde. Development of project LAG attended RDPE network event in Midlands met representatives from ENRD and Austria Attended events in Austria and Brussels to find interested parties Finland lead partner and project management Outputs: A network of quality nature experiences and tourism packages linked to other LEADER funded activities, (Local Food, walking/cycling, etc) Tourism businesses have better understanding of marketing/attracting visitors A number of new tourism businesses have already set up due to this project and the products developed International recognition winner of the Nordic-Baltic LEADER Cooperation Awards 13

14 Examples of Projects Waterways and Wildlife 14

15 Questions for discussion How can we best facilitate the establishment of formal cooperation projects to help all LAGs in England? What is the best way to promote UK/EU level co-operation, formal or informal to achieve better outcomes for the RDPE? How do you think we should share learning from cooperation so that we make sure we are doing co-operation right? 15

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