LEADER is a French acronym which translates to “Liaison amongst Actions in Rural Economic Development”.  The LEADER approach has been an important component of EU Rural Development Policy for over 20 years.  The essence of LEADER is a development method which uses local knowledge to promote a joined up “bottom up” approach to local development supported through rural development funding.

LEADER funding across Europe is led by Local Action Groups or LAGs. A Local Action Group brings together individuals from local, public, private and civil society who have been delegated responsibilities for local strategy development and delivery.