Representatives from 28 organisations, plus individuals from across rural Wales gathered on July 2nd to celebrate the achievements of LEADER in Wales and highlight the importance of Community Led Local Development to a thriving, resilient and sustainable rural economy.

The event took place at the Carno Community Centre, a community owner resource where the local community offer delicious food alongside their fantastic facilities.

Organised by a network of independent enterprise agencies and some experienced individuals, the event aimed to share the contents of a recent paper called, “Cydio’n y Potensial: Grasping the Potential “.

The paper highlights:
• The distinctive and growing potential for economic development and innovation in rural Wales which is different from large urban centres.
• The importance of an area-based approach which works across sectors and mobilises all assets to deliver well-being for all.
• The benefits to be gained by support for businesses deeply rooted in their local economy and the supply chains they depend upon.
• The need to build upon our proud and strong track record of supporting community-led local development through programmes such as LEADER.
• The role of organisations independent of government which are well placed to unlock potential through a flexible, responsive approach.

The network is calling for:

I. A renewed focus on the distinctive potential for innovation and development in rural Wales.
This includes support for an independent platform for rural voices from across sectors.
II. Dedicated funding for rural development, including investment in innovation, skills development as well as support to overcome the structural barriers which hold back the potential of rural areas.
III. Support for an area-based approach which considers and makes use of all assets through
IV. Recognition of the important role of independent organisations, built on a successful track
record in supporting and delivering an area -based approach.

wales03Following the highly successful event, network members will continue to talk to organisations and communities across rural Wales to grow the rural voice.

Wales will be represented at the European Rural Parliament in Asturias in November 2019.

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