Somerset is a predominantly rural county with only a few larger towns. The rural economy is vulnerable and facing change and uncertainty.

We lead a number of initiatives looking to address the challenges of the rural economy. The principal initiatives are European Funded programmes run in conjunction with partners across Somerset, through the Rural Development Programme for England, under the LEADER banner.

The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) is jointly funded by the European Union/Commission through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (Europe investing in Rural Areas and National Government) and Defra.