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Innovative solutions to rural issues

Facilitating pre-commercial development, business partnerships and short supply chains

Facilitating pre-commercial development, business partnerships and short supply chains
  • Projects that link skills and needs together (Skills Banks)
  • Development of new business partnerships or growing existing ones
  • Develop mentoring/ambassador schemes
  • Projects that create an entrepreneurial and innovative culture
  • Projects that enable employment of local people
  • Development of new products or processes
  • Develop and/or build on Powys brands
  • Pilot innovative approaches to supply chain development.
  • Projects using innovative methods of increasing the number of businesses engaging with public and private support services.

Exploring new ways of providing non-statutory local services

Exploring new ways of providing non-statutory local services
  • Piloting news ways of delivering services such as transport
  • Facilitate community engagement and information to identify community resilience and capacity to enable service delivery
  • Projects that build the capacity of local actors to allow them to deliver local services
  • Innovative projects that improve the health and wellbeing of local people
  • Research and visits to other best practice project examples
  • Projects that develop volunteering opportunities and training placements.
  • Support for the development of community hubs.
  • Projects that trial alternative ways of delivering non statutory services.
Photo by Finn Beales

Renewable energy at Community level

Renewable energy at Community level
  • Community engagement activities to disseminate renewable energy (RE) information to communities
  • Energy audits to identify hotspot communities for RE or energy efficiency
  • Projects that support the reduction of fuel poverty within the county
  • Projects that use community benefits from RE to alleviate poverty
  • Projects that support businesses to become more energy efficient
  • Projects that utilise natural resources to deliver local solutions.
  • Facilitation of support by communities through mentoring and familiarisation visits.
  • Engagement activities to disseminate RE information to land owners and rural businesses
  • Fuel sourcing from community woodlands.

Exploitation of digital technology

Exploitation of digital technology
  • Projects that increase the uptake of digital technologies within the business and community sectors
  • Projects that use digital technologies to provide services
  • Projects that build on existing web platforms or creates new ones
  • Projects that increase the uptake and usage of digital technology to improve business productivity and effectiveness.
  • Pilot mentoring or buddy schemes to encourage the use of social media.
  • Pilot innovative ways of using new technologies to provide information.

Adding Value to local identity and natural and cultural resources

Adding Value to local identity and natural and cultural resources
  • Projects that make best use of natural assets such as community grown food initiatives or community woodlands
  • Developing new activities related to the natural environment and heritage
  • Building the capacity of events to encourage sustainability
  • Develop ideas to increase the use of the Welsh Language within the outdoor activities sector
  • Develop ideas that link producers, retailers, caterers and visitors and products together
  • Improve the knowledge of the local natural and historical environment of local tourism providers

Farm Diversification

Farm Diversification

The Farm Diversification Scheme was a strategic project under Axis 3 of the Rural Development Plan which was active between 2011 and 2014. The aim of the project was to develop the agricultural sector in Powys into a dynamic and competitive sector.

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Resilient Powys

Resilient Powys

The Resilient Powys Project delivered a programme of support and financial assistance to encourage innovative, bottom up, small scale, business and community-led development initiatives, supporting diversification of the rural economy and improving the quality of life of Powys' citizens. A suite of strategic objectives were identified against which activities will be delivered.

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Sustainable Tourism Powys

Sustainable Tourism Powys

Sustainable Tourism Powys (STP) was an innovative programme delivered by Powys County Council to support and develop tourism in Powys into a dynamic and competitive sector. The project offered a range of support that developed and promoted the tourism offer in Powys including; grants schemes, targeted marketing, business advice and support.

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Severn Water Integration Management

The Severn Water Integration Management (SWIM) project was delivered by the Severn Rivers Trust over two years (2017-2019) in northern Powys, across the former county of Montgomeryshire.

Clean rivers are important for recreation, for wildlife, for fishing, agriculture and for many businesses relying on ample supplies of clean water.

The river Severn and its tributaries suffer from a number of pressures including:

·         Pollution from industrial, agricultural and domestic sources

·         Concrete and paving in built-up areas limit water storage and drainage

·         Barriers in rivers that stop fish from swimming freely

·         Poor land management leading to loss of habitats and key species

·         Alien species such as Himalayan balsam and Japanese knotweed which smother river banks and cause increased erosion

Flooding is devastating for homes, businesses and key infrastructure and river catchment management plays a role in the severity of these floods. We all have a role to play in soil and water management. The SWIM project developed a new technique for managing flooding by using natural capital at a catchment scale to reduce downstream flood peaks.


Where precipitation hits a river catchment, a great proportion of it ends up in the river, taking with it any pollution on the land. How quickly this water gets to our rivers and the severity of the impact depends on the land management. For example, soil compaction and a reduction in tree and hedgerow cover all increase the impact of flooding.


Natural capital such as tree cover, well maintained soils etc. can reduce the impact of downstream flooding. By modelling this natural capital, the SWIM project identified the areas where the most cost-effective interventions could take place.


By engaging local communities by setting up local flood action groups and by having two-way discussions with landowners; local people were able to lead the discussion and contribute by identifying the areas where natural capital can be improved on the ground. By engaging landowners in discussion which benefitted the farm business as well as the river catchment, we were able to get farmers to support the project in a sustainable way.


Engaging volunteers and communities ensured the project had multiple benefits For example, best practice advice on hedge planting for agriculture students, active volunteering, increased biodiversity and reduced pollution leading to improved water quality.


This project has enabled Severn Rivers Trust to bid for future funding to undertake capital works to reduce flooding.

Become a LAG member

If you'd like to register your interest in becoming a member of the LAG, please complete the OPLAG Membership EOI Form

To learn more about the work of the OPLAG or to discuss becoming an OPLAG member, please contact:

Louise White, RDP Programme Officer
Tel: 01597 827072/07773 818391
E-mail: louise.white(at)

All enquiries and expressions of interest regarding application for membership will be dealt with in the strictest of confidence and in line with Data Protection legislation.

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