A local action group Oulujärvi LEADER has carried out rural development work since 1996. Oulujärvi LEADER is a joint rural development association of local inhabitants, associations and companies, with also the region's municipalities as members. Our activity area comprises the municipalities of Paltamo, Puolanka and Vaala as well as the rural areas of the city of Kajaani. The activity area is located around Lake Oulujärvi, Finland's fourth largest lake, reaching Kainuu's fell region in the north. The area's surface area is some 7 700 km2, of which water areas total 1 208 km2 i.e. over 15 %. The activity area's population is some 34 000. The distance to Helsinki is some 600 km.


Our activity is versatile:

  • we fund projects that are based on the needs of the area's inhabitants and that they carry out themselves
  • we give advice on project planning and implementation
  • we seek funding ourselves from various sources and carry out projects that benefit the rural area
  • we participate in development working groups and bring out the rural perspective
  • we organise training and information events and various theme days.


We also promote and support the internationalisation of the grass root level actors in our area. We have implemented cooperation projects for example with our Danish, Hungarian, Irish and Latvian partners.