About the Programme
All three tranches of funding have had very different targeted outcomes:
Sustain the Plain was very much about engaging the local communities, whilst providing information and training. The processes and outputs were all decided at a local level.
Programme Impact & Legacy
The LEADER programme was delivered by Community First and Wiltshire Council between 2002 – 2020 in three tranches of funding. The programme was part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for European Development. Highlights and case studies, along with a selection of outcomes from Sustain the Plain, Plain Action 1 & 2 and Vale Action are available to view and download on this website.
Sustain the Plain
Sustain the Plain (2002 – 2007) was a five-year community and business grants programme funded by the European Union Rural Development Programme. To be eligible for funding, projects needed to improve the quality of life of people with the Sustain the Plain area, encourage the best use and appreciation of natural and cultural resources and/or involve military and civilian people integrating and working together.
Plain Action 1
Having successfully delivered ‘Sustain the Plain’, funding was approved for a follow on programme called Plain Action, the first part of which was delivered between 2007 – 2013. Funding was awarded to maximise skills and opportunities, to strengthen the long term economic performance of the area and/or to work for cohesive, stable and sustainable communities by addressing imbalances and geographical or social isolation.
Plain Action 2
At the conclusion of Plain Action 1 (2007 – 2013), a second Plain Action programme was agreed in late 2014. Due to a delay the programme did not start accepting applications until November 2015. The priorities for Plain Action 2 included support to increase farm productivity, micro/small business and farm diversification, rural tourism, rural services, cultural/heritage activity and support for increasing forestry production.
During the process of bidding for funding for Plain Action 2, there was an expectation that the population limit would be relaxed allowing the programme to include the A350 corridor in Wiltshire. It was later decided that the area should be split into two, resulting in the creation of Vale Action, based on the A350 corridor between Trowbridge to Malmesbury. Priorities mirrored those of Plain Action 2.