I am very proud of what together we have achieved, and am confident that with your commitment and support that the LRP will continue to serve our rural communities well.

Mrs L.A.S. Pendleton (Chairman LRP 2003-2013)

The LRP celebrated its 20 year anniversary in March this year, marking the occasion with a celebration event held at the Belvior Brewery in Old Dalby, one of the many rural businesses the LRP has supported over the years.

Partners old and new gathered to celebrate the achievements of the Partnership over its 20 year history.

The LRP has supported a wide range of projects, from Post Offices in Churches to Village Shops in pubs. Residents have benefitted from high quality Rural Affordable Housing schemes providing local homes for local people. The Partnership has also helped to improve rural visitor attractions and supported farms to diversify, along with supporting many other rural businesses to grow. Communities have been supported through a plethora of community projects for all ages including luncheon clubs, new and improved community facilities, and activities and travel for young people in rural areas.

The LRP has been recognised at a local and national level, raising its profile and sharing its good practice, including, leading a delegation of partners to Brussels to promote the LRPs work to the European Commission's Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development. It has hosted an inward delegation from Malaysia, discussed rural issues around the table with many of the Defra MPs over the years, as well as local MEPs here in the East Midlands. The LRP has even rubbed shoulders with celebrities, hosting Adam Henson from BBC's Countryfile at the 2012 Leicestershire Rural Conference.

The event also marked the retirement of Mrs Lesley Pendleton who has chaired the Partnership for the past 10 years.

Chairman of the County Council, Mr Peter Lewis thanked Mrs Pendleton for her commitment and dedication to partnership working in rural communities across the county saying:

"You are never afraid to roll-up your sleeves and muck-in, 'literally' last year you did roll-up your sleeves to do a bread making demonstration at Twycross Zoo during the Food and Drink Fortnight. You have also donned your wellies to help man the rural business trailer in muddy fields in the freezing cold – testiment to your positive and practical approach".