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Rural Development Programme England

Introduction to RDPEFamily walking on a woodland trail

“The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), with Environmental Stewardship at its heart, aims to safeguard and enhance the rural environment, improve the competitiveness of the agricultural sector and foster competitive and sustainable rural businesses and thriving rural communities.” (Defra, November 2007)

RDPE is the mechanism for delivering money allocated to England from the EU and Defra via the European Fund for Rural Development from 2007 until 2013.

There is a national budget of £3.9bn, of which approximately £22.5m will be allocated to the agri-environment and other land management schemes (Axis 2) in North East England. These schemes will be managed by Natural England and the Forestry Commission.

Around £6.6m each year will be allocated to One North East [external link] to deliver the socio-economic elements of the programme (axis 1 and 3) in the region. This money will be targeted at making agriculture and forestry more competitive and sustainable, and to enhance opportunity in rural areas.

At least 25% of the socio-economic RDPE funding (around £1.5m per year) will be delivered through the LEADER approach – a great opportunity for community-led development. More information on LEADER .  The North East Implementation plan (NEIP) provides the overall strategy for the delivery of RDPE in the region. It breaks it down into 6 themes:

  • Natural and cultural assets
  • Micro-enterprise development
  • Bio-energy
  • Sustainable communities
  • Sustainable farming and forestry
  • Tourism and recreation

For more information about the objectives of RDPE under each theme the RDPE website .

Further information

Rural Development Plan for England - A Quick Guide for Foresters and Woodland Owners [pdf 422k]