West Lothian LEADER launch

West Lothian has been awarded £2.17 million for community led local development in rural West Lothian.

Administered under the Scottish Rural Development Programme Leader is a European grant scheme that supports innovative and original projects that are driven and run by local communities, businesses and organisations. It also focuses on co-operation between groups both local and national and even cross Europe.

A free trade stand at this year's Scottish Game Fair is the prize in a new competition for young entrepreneurs.

The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust Scottish Game Fair's Young Innovator competition is offering a free trade stand at the July event and other business opportunities to one innovative business.  

They are looking for products and services that benefit or support game conservation or management.

The Scottish Food Commission's interim report has set out a vision for 2025, with five key objectives for the next decade.

The Scottish Food Commission has 16 members and is tasked with checking that the existing National Food and Drink Policy 'Becoming a Good Food Nation' is fit for purpose, and to produce recommendations to ensure that the policy's current focus is able to deliver for society and industry.

The agricultural European Innovation Partnership (EIP-AGRI) has issued a call for experts for two new Focus Groups.

Do you have practical experience or specific knowledge in the following areas?

World Canals Conference

The World Canals Conference 2016 will showcase the huge range of exciting and innovative projects underway on and along inland waterways around the globe.

Hosted in Inverness, the gateway to the majestic Caledonian Canal, the conference will showcase the many attractions of the nation’s 137-mile canal network, from the incredible Kelpies – the largest equine sculptures on the planet – and The Falkirk Wheel to the innovative projects in surface water management, asset monitoring and repair and place-making.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has announced that five projects will receive a share of £2 million from the Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund (KTIF).

The projects will promote skills development, knowledge transfer and deliver on-the-ground improvements to the farming sector in Scotland.

Grants will be awarded to the following projects:

Soil Association are looking for new Field Lab ideas to test new farming approaches, share best practice and solve problems.

Field Labs bring agricultural research directly to the field and the shed, bringing farmers and growers together with a researcher and a dedicated facilitator to focus on your own research questions. Field Labs in Scotland are free to attend and open to all farmers and growers, not just organic ones.

Over 100 people from across rural Perthshire braved the snow and ice to attend the launch of the Rural Perth & Kinross LEADER programme on 14 January. 

After a spot of networking at the various stands the meeting commenced with the Local Action Group Chair, with Jackie Brierton speaking passionately about the opportunities that the Local Development Strategy offers in terms of stronger networking, collaboration, a well connected sustainable local economy with communities coming together.

A report from a study visit to Dumfries and Galloway by Ceredigion and Cairngorms LEADER Local Action Groups is now available.

Below is the Executive Summary of the report, and you can also download the full report for more information.

Presentations from a European Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation systems event are now available online.

The European Commission Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) organised the two-day seminar to promote understanding of Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS) and to highlight practical examples of the changes taking place in approaches to knowledge transfer, learning and innovation in the agricultural, forestry and rural development sectors.