UK: England Rural Network – status up to 31/01/2020

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The UK - England* Rural Network aims at raising awareness of rural development policy and funding opportunities across the whole RDP, while working with other funds to co-promote rural growth.

*: Please read the content disclaimer on UK data.


Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra)
Seacole Building
2 Marsham Street
United Kingdom
Telephone number: 
+44 (0)208-225-6446
Email address: 
Contact persons: 
Mark Herbert
(Network Manager)
020802 65364
Colin Whelan
(Innovation Lead)
020802 62948
Stacy LeCocq
(Operations Manager)
020822 56975
Matthew Jesse
(Coordination Lead)
020802 68755

NSU operation

Raise awareness of rural development policy and funding opportunities across the whole RDP
Growth Programme: work with the LEPs and other ESIF interests to co-promote funds and rural growth
Innovation: support knowledge transfer and innovation through establishment of EIP-Agri Operational Groups, networking for advisors and innovation support services
Co-operation: Support co-operation projects and resulting knowledge transfer 
LEADER: support LAGs by providing networking and training opportunities and facilitating co-operation and knowledge transfer
Stakeholder involvement in the NRN and implementation of the RDP so that there is an effective feedback loop for the programme, and that we address inequalities in capacity to engage
UK and EU collaboration: level to develop shared priorities and support knowledge transfer
NRN management: Co-ordinate communications and stakeholder engagement strategy, and NRN action plan (including effective management of NRN resources)
Evaluation: evaluate NRN activities and disseminate results and learning from NRN and RDP evaluation

Who can join the network?
The Network is open to anyone with an interest in the Rural Development Programme. There is no formal membership registration.

The NSU and the Managing Authority
The NSU is hosted in the Managing Authority (MA).
The NSU reports directly to the RDP programme manager and has regular contact with the programme office on all matters of the NRN.

The NSU and the Monitoring Committee
The Monitoring Committee (MC) meets 4 times a year and has a strategic role overseeing the RDP as a whole.
The MC does not get involved in the detailed running of the NRN. 
The MC allows the NRN to set its priorities.

The England Network forms part of the UK NRN. However, there is no overall UK RDP and each region (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) has its own Programme and NSU.

At UK level there is regular informal collaboration with the NRNs in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which includes working together to deliver a small number of UK level events, and co-ordinating participation in the EU Rural Networks.

The England RDP has an “External Working Group” (EWG) that forms the core of the NRN. It is formed by a group of around 20 stakeholder organisations that cover interests across the whole of the programme.

Their engagement is informal and voluntary, and they meet each month to discuss current issues and improvements for the RDP. As the Steering Group for the NRN, one of their functions is helping the NSU developing and reviewing the priorities and activities in the NRN Action Plan. 

Budget (€)
Total NRN public funds: 2 100 000   
Out of which national co-financing: 0%
Out of which EAFRD: 100%

Image / Photo
England Rural Network team