Headlines: June 11th, 2010

A seminar today will look at how to get the best value for rural communities from the remainder of the Rural Development Programme for England. The event in Kendal, in Cumbria, will bring together more than a hundred organisations to build on lessons from the programme so far.

The seminar has been organised jointly by the RDPE and the Northern Rural Network as an opportunity to exchange information on project delivery and RDPE evaluation studies that are currently underway. It will also look at how to secure maximum value from the remaining funding. The grant scheme was created to benefit rural communities to the tune of 3.9 billion pounds between 2007 and 2013.

Rebecca Frost, Programme Manager for the RDPE Network, said the seminar followed a similar event last year when Local Action Groups from across the north of England came together to share ideas and experiences of delivering ‘Leader’ projects within the wider context of the RDPE. Referring to some of the ventures who will participate in today’s seminar, she said: “It is crucial that we learn from these to ensure future projects are of maximum benefit to rural communities.”

The Northern Rural Network is run by the Centre for Rural Economy at Newcastle University. Co-ordinator Terry Carroll, said: the seminar would look at the future of the Common Agricultural Policy and how EU rural development funding might play out in the longer term. “Above all, we need to continue to focus on how we can ensure the most efficient and effective delivery of the RDPE and ensure rural communities receive the financial support they need,” he added.