Defra has announced “transition” funding for the development of the newly established Local Action Group, the “Heart of Wessex”. This partnership between The Cranborne Chase & West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), South Somerset District Council and Wincanton Community Venture (The Balsam Centre) has been developed to facilitate the delivery of Rural Development Programme England funding across the LAG area throughout the next programme period (2015-2020). The Heart of Wessex LAG is a partnership organisation committed to the delivery of sustainable economic growth and jobs in rural areas. The development of a strong rural growth proposition through collaboration and joined up thinking is at the heart of the LAGs activities.
The LAG is consulting with a broad spectrum of people, to support our Local Development Strategy for the new funding programme. Some key considerations for a new LEADER Programme in the Heart of Wessex area are:
* What our objectives should be for 2015-2020
* What the key investment priorities should be
* Whether the geographic coverage should change to include a wider area
* How we can work with other organisations to reduce costs, increase value for money and maximise the LAGs investment impact.
What would improve the quality of life and prosperity of people living and working in rural areas? We want to know what you think would benefit the economy of the Heart of Wessex LAG area. Do we need more jobs and businesses in rural areas; better community facilities; better information and facilities for tourists; improvements to farming and forestry? We will be seeking the views of as many individuals, rural networks, local businesses and public bodies as possible and we anticipate using a variety of ways to get people’s opinions such as:
* A short on line survey on this website (link to survey).
* Meetings with key rural stakeholders, such as Local Enterprise Partnerships, Local Nature Partnerships, Rural and Farming Networks, the CLA, the NFU etc as well as local businesses and community groups.
* A number of informal thematic cluster events spread over the LAG area to give as many people as possible a chance to attend and contribute to the Local Development Strategy