Rural development grant for Holland Rijnland and Polders with Waarden

A care farm, a knowledge centre for sustainable production technology or a rural conference centre: all these are typical examples of new functions in rural areas.

Private individuals, businesses and social organisations in the Holland Rijnland and Polders met Waarden regions are all eligible to apply for grants for innovative rural development projects.

Both regions have been given 'LEADER' status. That means they are entitled to claim grants under the 'POP3' rural development programme (Plattelandsontwikkelingsprogramma).

The aim of POP3 is to keep the farming industry alive and economically profitable. It is also intended as an incentive to improving water and soil quality as well as biodiversity in the two regions.

The grant allocation for the Holland Rijnland and Polders met Waarden regions amounts to a total € 6.6 million.  Each of the regions can claim up to half of that amount. Businesses and other investors will raise any additional financing needed. Each year the province will make a portion of the grant funds available.

Requirements for grant applications

Projects submitted for grants must be in line with the vision laid down in a 'LOS' local development strategy (Lokale Ontwikkeling Strategie). Both Holland Rijnland and  Polders met Waarden have already drawn up their own local strategic plans.

The Provincial Executive will assess whether the submitted plans comply with the regional LOS. Projects that meet this requirement will be given 'LEADER' status, which means their grant application may potentially be successful. Local action groups will monitor the implementation of project plans.

Which areas fall under the LEADER scheme?

Qualifying areas in Holland Rijnland are:

  • Leiden region
  • Nieuwkoopse Plassen and surrounding districts

Rijnland has opted to give extra weight to promoting public health and the living environment, as well as the move towards a circular economy. A circular economy means zero waste and maximum recycling of material and energy resources.

Qualifying areas in the Polders met Waarden region are:

  • Krimpenerwaard
  • Gouwe Wiericke
  • Alblasserwaard-Vijfheerenlanden

Polders met Waarden has adopted the specific objective of combining town and country into one sole region in which urban and rural reinforce each other dynamically.  These two elements will be given additional emphasis in the assessment of submitted projects.

Rural development programme POP

The 'POP' rural development programme, including the LEADER section, falls under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development EAFRD. POP3 succeeds POP1 and POP2 and covers the period 2014 to 2020.

LEADER is an EU programme aimed at strengthening the economy of rural areas.