COMMUNITY groups who have benefitted from the Leader programme are being urged to get in touch to ensure the funding scheme continues.
The current Leader programme is due to expire next year and so a review is taking place to see how the scheme can continue in the future.
Defra are asking people to get in touch if they are members of community groups, rural businesses, farmers or foresters, members of Leader teams or Local Action Groups, or those living in rural areas who have been affected by the Leader programme.
For Sandra Smith, of the Gateway project in Whitby, the benefits of Leader are clear to see.
Gateway works to open up the countryside for residents by improving pathways and rural access points and has benefitted from the funding offered by the Leader scheme.
Mrs Smith said: “We would certainly want it to continue. It’s allowed us to do quite a bit of work locally and to improve the access to the countryside.”
Gateway has helped to improve the Cinder Track and is currently working on a project to improve Monk’s Trod due to funding they received from the Leader scheme.
To respond to the Leader survey visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/LEADERCallEvidence.
The closing date for surveys is Friday 21 December.