Policy paper

RDPE programme document 2014 to 2020

Formal programme document setting out, in detail, what the Rural Development Programme for England will achieve.


RDPE programme document 2014-2020

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This formal document sets out, in detail, what the Rural Development Programme (RDPE) for England will achieve between 2014 and 2020. We’ve also added our advisory note on how state aid rules will apply.

All of these are long, detailed, technical documents. If you want to know more about the schemes available under RDPE, read our rural grants and payments guidance.

Programme document

This programme document was originally adopted by the European Commission on 13 February 2015. It follows the format laid down in the EU Implementation Regulation (EC 808/2014).

The latest version of the document represents our first Programme modification and was adopted on 4 July 2016. It includes adjustments that were requested by the Commission, proposals from Defra, and the setting up of the emergency Farming Recovery Fund.

The document includes:

  • the overall strategy for the programme between 2014 and 2020
  • an assessment of the main needs to be addressed by the Rural Development Programme
  • a description of the Rural Development measures being implemented
  • financial information on the programme, and a set of programme indicators that will be used to measure progress against the programme’s targets
  • a plan of how the programme will be evaluated
  • information on how the programme will be publicised and who will carry out the programme’s activities
  • information on how the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), European Social Fund (ESF) and European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) funded programmes complement each other

The programme document consists of 19 main Chapters and various annexes.

State aid rules

Our advisory note sets out the legal framework and rationale for applying state aid rules to payments made under 2014-20 Rural Development Programme for England. It is used as a reference by those making decisions about applications for RDPE support.

Funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

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Published 17 February 2015
Last updated 15 December 2017 + show all updates
  1. This version includes a number of modifications adopted by the Commission on 25 September 2017. Version 4.1 of the 2014-20 RDPE includes the following modifications: * update the Common Context Indicators and LEADER targets * clarify text and eligible applicants * introduce the emergency Farming Recovery Fund * implement the Farm Advisory Service, to broaden the scope of advice on the reduction of pollution from agriculture * clarify the State Aid rules for co-operation support * link food processing and forestry activities under the Growth Programme * introduce new options under Countryside Stewardship to support flood mitigation * broaden the support for the water environment * introduce farm risk prevention and management advice linked to animal health and welfare * include public bodies as eligible beneficiaries where supporting small-scale infrastructure and broadband * broaden the provision of support for coast paths in England * make small editorial changes to utilise an uplift in intervention available to less developed areas * make small changes to align the Programme document with the underpinning state aid notifications * make an adjustment to add potential RDPE delivery bodies * make balancing financial adjustments.
  2. Programme document updated following our first Programme modification (adopted 4 July 2016), includes adjustments that were requested by the Commission, proposals from Defra and setting up of the emergency Farming Recovery Fund.
  3. Updated state aids document added.
  4. Added document on Impact of EU State Aid rules.
  5. First published.