The Consortium Leader Pirineu Occidental (CLPO) is the organism (local action group, LAG) that has been running the Leader Programme in the counties of Pallars Jussà, Pallars Sobirà, Alta Ribagorça and Val d’Aran since 2009. Its management team consists of seven people who provide services and personalized attention in the four respective county towns. The objective of the Consortium is to improve the socio-economic situation of the region via two main lines of work, Leader grants and cooperation projects.
Leader grants are designed to create, improve and promote local businesses. Annually, during a fixed period of time, grants for investment in projects as yet to be initiated can be applied for. The type of expenses that are eligible are mainly investments in civil works, facilities and equipment. Since 2009, 445 applications for a total of 48.9 M € of investment have been received, and 9.3M € of grants awarded.
The cooperation projects are carried out in hand-in-hand with other LAGs in Catalonia (there are currently 11 such groups). These projects include actions designed to promote development in natural areas (Leader Natura), to encourage young people to return to rural areas (Odisseu), to boost local agricultural and food production (Gustum) and innovative energetic and forestry (Enfocc) projects, and support rural co-working (Cowocat Rural), entrepreneurship in rural schools (FER) and rural entrepreneurs in Catalonia (Start Up).
The Consortium also promotes strategic cooperation projects in which it collaborates with local bodies on projects designated by the LAGs as of ‘strategic importance for the region’. Some examples include: Aula de Cuina in Sort, Fishing Pirineu de Lleida, an application for mobile phones, Terra de Xicoies and, currently, the project Suma’t i Involucra’t, that henceforth will be called Gratitud Pallars, in which the Association Marques de Pastor cooperates with the LAG.
The Consortium manages the Leader grants that are awarded and the cooperation projects following the principles of the Local Development Strategy, redefined in 2015 by a participatory process, in which the following lines of work were agreed upon:
Line 1.- Promotion of the environmental sustainability and of the activities performed therein
Line 2.- Diversification of the rural economy
Line 3.- Promotion of local products of quality
Line 4.- Encouragement of cooperation projects