Rural Development Programme for England
The Rural Development Programme for England(RDPE) was launched in the region on 4th February 2008. It aims to support and promote sustainable farming, forestry and food sectors, and also to bring wider benefits for the economy, the environment and rural communities. Areas of activity include environmental stewardship, skills development, farming and forestry diversification, resource management, renewable energy supply chains and community-led development (The Local Action for Rural Communities Initiative)
The programme has three axes, these are:
- Axis 1 - improving the competitiveness of the farming and forestry sectors (10% of the total budget).
- Axis 2 - improving the environment and countryside (80% of the total budget)
- Axis 3 - improving quality of life in rural areas and promoting diversification of the rural economy (10% of the total budget). This axis includes the Local Action initiative which is described in more detail in the following section.
The South West of England Regional Development Agency (RDA) is responsible for the management and delivery of priorities 1 and 3 which in the region have a budget of £156.8 million from 2007 to 2013. Further information on these axes can be seen at the South West Rural Development Gateway and the RDAs websites.
Priority 2 has been divided into the English Woodland Grant Scheme (EWGS) and the Environmental Stewardship scheme (ES) which are administered by the Forestry Commission and Natural England respectively.
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