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05/07/13 11:43

Follow the LEADER

Local groups urged to form partnerships.

Community groups at the centre of plans to develop rural Scotland are being encouraged to forge partnerships to identify proposals for their areas.

It is part of the revised approach to the new LEADER programme, which enables local groups to help decide the best way to deliver financial support to rural communities.

The approach has been widened for the new programming period making it more flexible and allowing wider collaboration between groups.

Access to other sources of European funding will also be made simpler.

Potential partners and organisations are being urged to get involved with their Local Action Groups (LAG) and submit an expression of interest by August 5.

This is the first step in the application process of forming a LAG and preparing a Local Development Strategy which will set out community led priorities for an area for the 2014 to 2020 period.

The expression of interest should include:

  • the proposed area and population
  • the scope of the proposal
  • a list of partners involved
  • priority needs in the area
  • plans for involving other businesses, organisations and people in the area

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

“Our rural communities make a massive contribution to Scotland and those who live within them best understand the needs and wants of their area.

“Local input is vital to the shaping of the new LEADER programme – we need to know what the priorities are if we are to support them as much as we can.

“Forming these partnerships will create a unified voice to speak for rural communities and outline a vision for them.

“The process is just beginning so I would urge anyone with an interest in developing their community to start thinking about the benefits of working together and getting involved. This is a chance to think about the aspirations for their community and to set out the steps needed to achieve them.”

Notes to editors

More information on LEADER:

Interested individuals or groups should contact their local LAG Coordinator for further information. List of LAG Coordinators: