Information about LEADER

Suffolk County Council is the accountable body for the LEADER rural funding programme in Suffolk and North Essex.

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Read our case studies on LEADER projects (PDF, 574KB) to help raise awareness and gather ideas for future projects.


LEADER provides grants for rural businesses or organisations. Funding is provided by the EU's Rural Development Programme England (RDPE) and the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

The funding is granted by Local Action Groups (LAG) made up of individuals from the public, private and voluntary sector. 

Between 2015 to 2020 the funding priorities for LEADER are:2015.09.04-LEADER-logo.JPG

  • micro and small enterprises and farm diversification
  • increasing farm productivity
  • rural tourism
  • increasing forestry productivity
  • provision of rural services and local business support services
  • cultural and heritage activity

A key priority of the programme is that the majority of grants should contribute to jobs being created.

You can find out more about LEADER programmes on GOV.UK.

There are currently 4 areas that cover most (but not all) of Suffolk: