What does LEADER mean?
The LEADER programme is part of the Austrian Programme For Rural Development (LE2020). The programme supports rural development projects initiated at the local level which revitalise rural areas and create jobs. LEADER projects must be managed by so-called local action groups (LAG). In the region of the valley lavant, the LAG "Regionalkooperation Unterkärnten" is responsible for managing these projects. The regions does not only cover the valley Lavant, but also the municipalities of South Carinthia. The LEADER programme covers three development focuses, which are treated differently in every region. In the LAG Regionalkooperation Unterkärnten the focus lies on the following action fields:
1. Added Value (themes: economy, tourism, agriculture and energy)
2. Natural Ressources and Cultural Heritage (themes: nature and environment, culture)
3. Public Welfare (themes: local and urban development, infrastructure and mobility, education and integration, civil society and services to the public)
"Cross-sectional topics" (women, lifelong learning, youth, migration, climate change), which can be found in all of the above mentioned action fields complete the development focuses for the region.
LAG Regionalkooperation Unterkärnten
LAG means "local action group". This term is
used in connection with the Austria Programme For Rural Development
(LE2020). A LAG is able to
apply for subsidies from the LEADER programme.
The application process to become a LAG contains the development of a local strategy for the region. This strategy is based on the above mentioned three action fields (1. added value, 2. natural ressources and cultural heritage, 3. public welfare). The strategic paper also includes objectives and measures to achieve them. The federal government will evaluate the achievement of the defined objectives. With every LEADER project that is done in the region, some of the stated objectives have to be reached. A project is only eligible for subsidies, if it meets the criterias of the strategic paper.
Carinthia was granted an overall LEADER funding budget of 25m Euros (80% EU/EAFRD, 13% state, 7% federal government) for the funding period 2014-2020. The LAG Regionalkooperation Unterkärnten has a funding budget of about 5.3m Euros.
There are six LAGs in the current funding period in Carinthia. The LAG Regionalkooperation Unterkärnten is the biggest region (33 municipalities and 126.000 inh) and consists of three sub-regions (the valley Lavant, South Carinthia, the valley "Rosental). In every sub-region there is a local LEADER manager, who is responsible for the projects.
How to conduct a LEADER project?
Step 1: Contact the local LAG management team to make an appointment for a first consultation.
Step 2: First consultation: The LAG management finds out if your project would be eligible for funding?
Step 3: Project development and finalization of the project documents.
Step 4: Project evaluation and project selection through the board members of the LAG Regionalkooperation Unterkärnten.
Step 5: Formal assessment and approval through the state of Carinthia.
Step 6: Project implementation