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European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development 2007-2013

North East Implementation Plan - Consultation

European funding for rural areas is changing.  A new Rural Development Programme is being developed for England, and will replace the current England Rural Development Programme (2000-2006) from January 2007.  The new programme, referred to as the Rural Development Programme for England (2007-2013) (RDPE) will be delivered by Natural England, the Regional Development Agencies and the Forestry Commission.

The RDPE comprises of a series of funding streams and is based on the following overarching priorities;

  • Enhancing the environment and countryside – Environmental Stewardship will be at the heart of this
  • Making agriculture and forestry more competitive and sustainable – fostering a more competitive business environment through a focus on skills, knowledge transfer and innovation
  • Enhancing opportunity in rural areas – investing in skills, enterprise and innovation, targeting support to those in rural areas that need it most, whether in the farming sector or the broader rural economy.

The RDPE will be delivered via the existing Environmental Stewardship schemes, which will be the responsibility of Natural England, the Woodland Grant Scheme, administered by the Forestry Commission and a new socio-economic programme, which will replace the current Project Based Schemes to be developed and managed by the Regional Development Agencies.

In order to obtain formal sign off for the RPDE from the European Commission, Defra is required to submit a programme document detailing how the scheme will be delivered and what it will be targeted at.  Each of the regions has been asked to prepare a Regional Implementation Plan outlining their investment priorities and delivery plans that will inform the national programme.

In the North East, the North East Implementation Plan (NEIP) has been developed in draft form by a steering group comprising the delivery partners, Natural England, One NorthEast and the Forestry Commission, supported by Government Office North East.  

The NEIP articulates the proposed principles, priorities and delivery arrangements for the RDPE and is currently a working draft, which will be developed over the forthcoming months.  The draft has been submitted to Defra who are reviewing it, along with the Implementation Plans for all the other English regions.

In the North East there is a 4-week period of consultation, open from Monday 7th August to Friday 1st September 2006 during which time the NEIP Steering Group partners are asking North East rural stakeholders to feed back their views on the content of the NEIP, in particular the proposed priority investment themes.  The Steering Group has prepared a series of questions we would like respondents to consider and these are embedded in the document.

Responses may be submitted by email to:

Or by post to:

NEIP Consultation,
Rural Team,
Government Office North East,
Newcastle upon Tyne,

Paper copies of the documents can be obtained by calling 0191 202 5220 and leaving your details.


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