Rural development grants available to farmers, foresters,
community enterprises and rural-based businesses.
LEADER is funding to improve the rural economy and quality of life for people living and working in the North Wessex Downs.

Local Action Group

The Local Action Group (LAG) is the ‘Board’ of the Leader funding, and is the decision making body.
The Local Action Group's primary role is to:

It meets a minimum of 4 times per year, and members are expected to undertake some work between meetings, including training and decisions via email.

LAG membership

The LAG currently consists of 20 members, five members from the public sector and fifteen members from the private, community and voluntary sectors.

Current membership is as follows:

Sector Constituency Member
Public North Wessex Downs AONB Partnership/team Henry Oliver (substitute Oliver Cripps)
  Wiltshire Council Cllr Fleur de Rhe Philipe
  West Berkshire Council Cllr Dominic Boeck
  Local Nature Partnerships Paul Hendry
  Natural England vacant
Private / Community / voluntary Private business * George Greenham
  Private business * Vacant
  Private business * Richard Paget
  Tourism * Lord Carnarvon (Chair)
  Farming * Peter Lemon
  Farming * Kenneth McDiarmid
  Forestry * Meg Chambers
  Forestry * Vacant
  NFU Andi Witcombe
  CLA Vacant
  Community Council Berkshire Tim Parry
  Community / social enterprise * Anne Budd
  Culture and heritage * Christopher Cannon
  Energy / low carbon / sustainability * Keith Richards
  Younger and older people * Suki Coe

*indicates filled by election; others are nominated by the organisation.

A message from the Chair, Lord Carnarvon

Welcome to the North Wessex Downs LEADER Programme.

You may already know that we ran a LEADER programme between 2009 and 2013. Under that scheme we delivered £1.419m to 65 projects across the North Wessex Downs AONB area helping local businesses create 36 new jobs and safeguard many more. We are delighted to be able to build on that success by running another Programme between 2015 and 2020, to help farmers, foresters, small businesses and rural communities to develop the rural economy in a sustainable way.

This time we have extended the area we cover so that more local rurally based businesses and communities have the opportunity to apply for funding. I am also really pleased that we have several new members on the Local Action Group who will help those of us already involved to deliver the scheme. We come from different parts of the area and from a variety of different backgrounds - private, public and voluntary sectors - and have a wide range of experience and expertise. We look forward to working with you and all our rural partners over the next five years.

So, if you think we might be able help please read on to find out more about our funding priorities and how to make an application. If you have any questions please do get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you.

Decision making

The LAG meets at least every quarter to monitor the management of the Programme and to make decisions on project funding.

Dates of the decision panels during 2017 are: 16th March, 2nd May, 14th June, 19th September, 14th December but please note we will be holding additional Decision Panels as the need arises to ensure we get decisions made as quickly as possible.

We currently have a couple of vacancies on the LAG so if you are interested in becoming a member please do get in contact to find out more about what is involved, the commitment etc.  If you have knowledge / experience of small business, tourism or forestry we are particularly keen to hear from you.

Latest News


LAG Member Login