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LEADER funding available for projects in Lochaber

Published: Tuesday, 13 December 2016

The Highland LEADER Programme is encouraging potential applicants in Lochaber to come forward with project ideas.

LEADER is an EU Fund aimed at promoting economic and community development within rural areas.   The Lochaber Local Area Partnership has a budget of £547,978 to award to projects which will benefit communities in the area.

Individuals, groups, organisations and businesses in Lochaber also have the opportunity to apply for funds for rural enterprise, farm diversification and Highland wide projects. Funding is also available for co-operation projects with other areas in Scotland, the UK or Europe.

The Lochaber Local Area Partnership recently made its first two approvals under the new programme.

Morvern Community Development Company was awarded £34,173 for the expansion of pontoon facilities at Lochaline Harbour.  Angus Robertson from Morven Community Development Company said: “Lochaline Harbour currently offers 24 berths and shore based facilities that include toilets, showers and a laundrette.  LEADER funding will contribute towards expanding the berthing facilities to accommodate another seven boats of 12 metres and over.  The additional capacity will significantly increase revenue for community development activities in the Morvern area, particularly around Lochaline.  We look forward to welcoming more yachts to our beautiful marina.”

Caol Regeneration Company proposes to establish a community-owned marina and public slipway adjacent to the southern outlet of the Caledonian Canal. LEADER funding of £25,000 will contribute towards the development phase of the project. Donald Corbett, Chair of Caol Regeneration Company said: “LEADER funding will support project management services to oversee the development of the project. We hope that the Marina itself will open in Spring 2019 if capital funding can be raised successfully. The marina will offer much-needed marine services such as slipway, moorings and related services to visiting yachts and boats as well as local boat owners. Currently the nearest similar marinas are in Inverness and Oban.”

John Fotheringham, Chair of the Lochaber Local Area Partnership said: “The Local Area Partnership has developed an Action Plan which outlines community development priorities for Lochaber. We are delighted to support these two projects which contribute towards the delivery of the Plan. We would encourage potential applicants to get in touch with project ideas. Grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 are available with applicants able to apply for up to 50% of project costs.”

For further information about the Highland LEADER Programme please visit www.highlandleader.com or contact Martin Culbertson, the LEADER Development Officer for Lochaber.  Martin will support and guide applicants, through the process of applying for and managing a LEADER grant.  Martin can be contacted on 01397 707 209 or by emailing martin.culbertson@highland.gov.uk