Funds of £6.6m available from the Highland LEADER Programme

The Highland LEADER Programme is now open to receive applications with funding of over £6.6m available for projects which will benefit communities across the Highlands.

LEADER is an EU Fund aimed at promoting economic and community development within rural areas.  The Highland LEADER Programme covers the mainland Highlands, the Small Isles and Skye but excludes the city of Inverness and the Cairngorms National Park.

The Highland Strategic Local Action Group (LAG) is responsible for the overall management and delivery of the Highland LEADER Programme.  Chair of the Strategic LAG, Jon Hollingdale said: “The Highland LEADER programme recognises the diversity of the area and its communities, and has adopted a structure which devolves decision making to seven Local Area Partnerships. Funding totalling £3.4m will be allocated to projects by these Local Area Partnerships by the end of March 2019."

Individuals, groups, organisations and businesses also have the opportunity to apply for funds held centrally by the Strategic LAG.  Funding is ring-fenced for Highland wide projects, rural enterprise and farm diversification projects.  Funding is also available for co-operation projects between Local Area Partnership areas in Highland and for projects between organisations or groups in Scotland, the UK or Europe.

Fiona Cameron, LEADER Programme Manager said: “Projects which contribute towards the aims and objectives of the Highland LEADER Programme will be eligible for consideration.  The seven Local Area Partnerships have each developed a Local Area Action Plan which outlines development priorities and will guide their funding decisions.”

“The Highland LEADER Programme employs five development officers who will support and guide applicants through the process of applying for and managing a LEADER grant.  The team are looking forward to working with applicants to develop projects and would encourage potential applicants to come forward with project ideas.”

For further information about the Highland LEADER Programme, how to apply and contact details for the development officers, please visit www.highlandleader.com

9 May 2016
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