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Rural Development in the United Kingdom is managed on a decentralised basis by the main administrative regions of the country through four Rural Development Programmes (RDPs): one for each England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. The RDPs are funded under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and national contributions. The RDPs set out priority approaches and actions to meet the needs of the specific geographical area they cover.

Find relevant information on the four RDPs below;

Explore EAFRD-supported projects in the UK;

Browse through the Local Action Groups (LAGs) in the UK.

Rural development funding through the EAFRD is part of a broader framework of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds), including also Regional Development, Social, Cohesion, and Fisheries Funds. These are managed nationally, by each EU Member State, on the basis of Partnership Agreements, strategic plans outlining the country’s goals and investment priorities. 

Partnership Agreement

Country Information

National Rural Network

NRNs operate in each EU Member State to support and enhance rural development objectives, enable and facilitate exchange and learning between all the partners involved in policy implementation.

The operation of each NRN is supported by a Network Support Unit (NSU) tasked with coordinating thematic and analytic work, facilitating networking and exchange, and communicating the work and voices of the network.

In the UK, four NRNs operate to enhance the implementation of the RDPs. The four networks are supported by their respective NSUs.

Explore the England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales sections below for relevant information on and contacts of each NRN.

Country Information

RDP documents
National Rural Network


Contact the English NSU

RDPE Network Support Unit
Zone 2/18, Temple Quay House, 2
The Square, Bristol
BS1 6EB - UK
Telephone: +44 (0) 208 225 6446

Email: rdpenetwork@defra.gsi.gov.uk

Fay Collington (Innovation Lead): fay.collington@defra.gsi.gov.uk
Liz Sheppard (Coordination Lead): liz.sheppard@defra.gsi.gov.uk
Huw Joynson (Projects and Support): huw.joynson@defra.gsi.gov.uk

Managing Authority

Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Area 1D, Nobel House
17 Smith Square
London; SW1P 3JR; UK

John Place: john.place@defra.gsi.gov.uk, +44 (0)208 026 3395
Emma Friend: emma.friend@defra.gsi.gov.uk, +44 (0)208 026 3110


Paying Agency

Rural Payments Agency (RPA)
PO Box 69
Telephone: +44 (0)300 0200 301




Country Information

RDP documents
National Rural Network

Contact the Northern Irish NSU

Northern Ireland Rural Network Support Unit
Northern Ireland Rural Decevlopment Council
17 Loy St., Cookstown
Co. Tyrone
BT80 8PZ
Northern Ireland, UK
Telephone: 00 44 (0)28 8676 6980

Email: rural.network@daera-ni.gov.uk

Lorraine Lynas (Network Manager): lorraine.lynas@daera-ni.gov.uk
Caoimhe Treanor (Network and communications coordinator): caoimhe.treanor@daera-ni.gov.uk
Catherine Powell (Network and communications coordinator): catherine.powell@daera-ni.gov.uk

Managing Authority

Rural Development Programme Management Branch
Room 403, Dundonald House
Upper Newtownards Rd
Belfast, BT4 3SB
Northern Ireland, UK
Telephone: 00 44 (0)2890 524078

Email: rural.policy@daera-ni.gov.uk

Paying Agency

European Services Branch
Orchard House
40 Foyle St
Derry BT48 6AT
Northern Ireland, UK

Email: esb@dardni.gov.uk

Country Information

RDP documents
National Rural Network

Contact the Scottish NSU

Scottish Rural Network Support Unit
Scottish Government
B1 Spur, Saughton House, Broomhouse Drive
Edinburgh, EH11 3XD
Scotland, UK
Telephone: +44 (0)131 244 2230

Email: info@ruralnetwork.scot


Alistair Prior (Head of Network Support Unit and Rural Communities Team): Alistair.Prior@gov.scot
Jody Fleck (Network Manager): jody@ruralnetwork.sco

Managing Authority

Directorate for Agriculture, Food and Rural Communities
Agriculture and Rural Development Division
D Spur, Saughton House
Edinburgh, EH11 3XD
Scotland, UK
Telephone: +44 (0)131 244 9253

Contact person: Neil Watt: Neil.Watt@gov.scot

Website: www.gov.scot/Topics/farmingrural/SRDP

Paying Agency

Directorate for Agriculture, Food and Rural Communities
Rural Payments and Inspections Division
Q1 Spur, Saughton House
Edinburgh, EH11 3XD
Scotland, UK
Telephone: +44 (0)300 244 9527

E-mail: RPIDCommunications@gov.scot

Website: www.ruralpayments.org/publicsite/futures/

Country Information

RDP documents
National Rural Network

Contact the Welsh NSU

Wales Rural Network Support Unit (English) / Uned Gefnogi Rhwydwaith Gwledig Cymru (Welsh)
Rhodfa Padarn
Llanbadarn Fawr
Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 3UR
Wales, UK
Telephone: +44 (0)300 062 2302

Email: Ruralnetwork@wales.gsi.gov.uk


Glenda Davies (Wales Rural Network Manager): Glenda.davies19@wales.gsi.gov.uk
Lowri Norrington-Davies (Wales Rural Network Manager): Lowri.Norrington-Davies@wales.gsi.gov.uk
Mandi Wilson (Wales Rural Network Manager): mandi.wilson@wales.gsi.gov.uk
Cath Midgley (RDP Communications Manager): Cath.Midgley@wales.gsi.gov.u

Managing Authority

Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff, CF10 3NQ
Wales, UK
Telephone: +44 (0)300 0603300

Email: CustomerHelp@wales.gsi.gov.uk


Paying Agency

Rural Payments Wales (English)  / Taliadau Gwledig Cymru (Welsh)
PO Box 1081, Cardiff
CF11 1SU, Wales, UK
Telephone: +44 (0)300 062 5004
Fax: +44 (0)1286 662193