In 1995 the LEADER Association (actually "Regional Community Initiative Almenland") was founded and is the region's foundation for the development of the Almenland. Its core task is the operation of regional development. It works on behalf of the six LEADER municipalities and is the link to the provincial funding agency. The association formulates and submits the projects and helps with their implementation.

What does LEADER mean?

Since 1991, "LEADER" in Europe has been dedicated to areas away from the centres. Through funding, communities in rural areas are to be strengthened in their independent development, so that the quality of life and the economic situation also improve.

How does LEADER work?

The following video by DVS Ländliche Räume shows in a simple and understandable way what LEADER is and how regional development basically works:

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Does LEADER exist in Styria?

LEADER funding is provided in time-limited funding periods. In the new LEADER period 2014-2020, the funding is again part of the EU Rural Development Programme.

In Styria, LEADER is managed by the new regional department of the Province of Styria. For the LEADER period, approximately € 48.8 million in funding (80% EU, 14% Land, 6% federal) has been reserved for the whole of Styria. This budget is distributed among 15 Local Action Groups in Styria. The Local Action Group (LAG) "Almenland & Energy Region Weiz-Gleisdorf" is one of them.

What does the LEADER management do?

The management deals with the development, monitoring and support of projects and the project promoters. Thus, they are the first contact persons for project proposals in the region.

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Energy partnership

Almenland Nature Park and Energie Steiermark sign contract for climate partnership

With the official signing of a cooperation agreement, the Almenland Nature Park and Energie Steiermark have been entering into a new, sustainable partnership since 2016. The intended goal of the total of 6 municipalities and 15 organisations together with the provincial energy company: To make the Almo region, which was founded in 1995, completely free of CO2 emissions in the coming years.

Goals of the partnership

The primary premise of this agreement is to create a model region for CO2-reduced or CO2-neutral economic activity. It is important to secure the energy supply for agricultural and tourist businesses as well as for the trade and industry in the region.

The realisation of innovative energy projects is planned, which will benefit businesses and households in the Almenland and ensure the supply of certified, regional natural electricity until 2020. In addition, sustainable mobility services will be implemented. According to the declared will of both partners, all this has to focus on the sustainable development of value creation in the region. Thus, it is not only about the economic benefit of the partners and the population, but above all about rural development from an ecological point of view. The execution and appearance of the projects should blend authentically and recognisably into the landscape. The Almenland Nature Park is to become a model region in terms of energy and climate protection. To this end, structural framework conditions will be created that will also have a long-term effect in the region.

The partners of the agreement are committed to the goal of a long-term and mutually beneficial cooperation with regard to the further development of the "Almenland Nature Park" project. The basis is the positioning of the partners as enterprises that fulfil their respective responsibility for the ecological development of the rural area. An essential factor for entering into this cooperation is the conviction to pursue common goals on the basis of common values: Regionality of value creation, fairness towards partners and customers as well as the endeavour to make a joint contribution to a better life in a "green world".

The 3 pillars of partnership

The achievement of the goals is based on three jointly developed pillars that form the basis for implementation:

  • Supply of 100 % certified regional natural electricity - UZ 46
  • Communication partnership - joint appearances in the areas of tourism and marketing.
  • Planning and realisation of projects in the field of renewable energies, energy efficiency, energy-related services and sustainable mobility services

A & E Weiz-Gleisdorf GmbH
CEO Dr. Iris Absenger-Helmli 
CEO Jakob Wild

Fladnitz 100
8163 Fladnitz an der Teichalm
Telephone: 0043 3179/2300014
E-Mail: office (at)

ÖR Mayor Erwin Gruber

Telephone: 0043 664/5422935
E-Mail: erwin.gruber (at)


Jakob Wild

Telephone: 0043 3179/2300015
E-Mail: jakob.wild (at)

Michaela Hirtler
Funding statements, organisation of events, project management

Telephone: 0043 3179/2300014
E-Mail: michaela.hirtler (at)