A ‘local’ approach to delivering more than £10m of Rural Development Programme for England funding (RDPE) will ensure the biggest positive difference for the West Midlands it was its has been claimed.

This message was delivered at the second national RDPE Network meeting for Local Action Groups (LAGs) held in Rugby.

Funded by the EU and UK Government, RDPE supports a range of schemes for land based businesses - farmers, growers, foresters and primary processors - rural tourism organisations, rural businesses and community organisations through small capital grants, strategic investment funding and action plans.

Rebecca Frost, programme manager for the RDPE Network, said: “Our second event was shaped by the LAGs and the organisations that they work with and was about looking at recent activity, sharing examples of how the funding is working and also ensuring that LAGs are getting the support they need to help with delivery.

“It was also an opportunity to look at how this money can be spent to help bring our local communities out of recession by encouraging businesses to diversify.”

The West Midlands has already been awarded approximately £10.22 million in funding until 2013 and this will be administered by eight LAGs in the region, including Shropshire Hills, Rural Staffordshire, North Warwickshire, Central Warwickshire, Rural Worcestershire, Rural Herefordshire, Northern Marches and the Peak District.