Community Led Local Development

'Community Led Local Development' or 'CLLD' gives local communities the power to tackle their own, local challenges. By building knowledge and skills, supporting new ideas and encouraging cooperation, CLLD helps to create viable and resilient communities.

Budget commitment for CLLD in 2024/25 budget

The Scottish Government is committed to sustaining resilient and thriving rural and island communities and ensuring that local voices shape and drive community development. It has made a budget commitment that it will invest a further £12.2 million in rural and island communities to continue to support Community Led Local Development (CLLD) and similar initiatives in 2024/25. Currently, work is underway to ensure an equitable distribution of funding across rural and island Scotland.

To help inform development of CLLD within 2024-25 a CLLD workshop was held in Glasgow March 2024. The event was hosted by Angus Rural Partnership (ARP) and support by the Scottish Rural Network (SRN) and was open to LAG chairs (or Vice Chairs) and CLLD Coordinators and followed a series of discussions between the CLLD community in late 2023, which identified a need for the CLLD network in Scotland to consider how best to work collectively and strategically to lead the implementation of CLLD going forward (event report here). 

CLLD 2023-24

The Scottish Government committed £11.6 million of funding for financial year 2023-24 to support CLLD across rural and island Scotland, which includes a first tranche of statutory funding (£6.7m) ringfenced for resource use by the CLLD Local Action Group (LAG) network.

A top up of £2.9m capital for use by LAGs has been allocated, bringing the total amount of funding directed to the LAGs to £9.6m. A breakdown of allocations per LAG can be found here

Of the remaining funding, £900,000 was approved to support collaboration activities between LAGs and foster better partnership working.

In April 2023 a national CLLD conference was hosted by SRN in Aviemore and brought together a range of CLLD stakeholders from across Scotland including Local Action Group (LAG) representatives, operational delivery teams, government policy leads, community led organisations and national interest groups.

The outputs of the conference, along with wider evaluation by external organisations, have helped inform the policy development of CLLD.

Key outputs can be found below:

CLLD 2022-23

This follows on from £11.6 million of CLLD funding over 2022-23 which was delivered in two tranches:

  • £8.6 million has been allocated to Local Action Groups (LAG) to support CLLD within their areas through the Rural Community Led Fund (RCLF). A breakdown of the funding allocations across the LAG network can be found here
  • £3 million of funding open to community groups delivered by Inspiring Scotland through the Rural and Island Communities Ideas into Action (RICIA) fund (please note the application window for RICIA closed on 10 October 2022).


This funding builds on the positive legacy of the LEADER Programme funding and the learning of two test of change pilots which were delivered in 2021-22 – the 'Rural Communities Testing Change (RCTC)' and the 'Rural Communities Ideas into Action (RCIA)' funds.  These funds jointly made £3.3 million of funding available to test future approaches to CLLD in rural and island communities in Scotland.

Learning was drawn from the Scottish Rural Collage evaluation of the RCTC and additional recommendations by the James Hutton Institute. An end fund report for the RCIA fund was also published, which reviewed delivery by Inspiring Scotland and made a range of recommendations regarding future CLLD funding delivery (viewable here). 

The RCTC fund was made available to LAGs to enable them to build on the positive legacy of LEADER while using their experience to properly innovate and test change. An example of this approach can be seen in the way that the Ayrshire LAG embraced the funding model through the establisment of the Ayrshire Rural and Islands Ambition (ARIA) fund which enabled a wide range of community led projects to access funding - full details here.

The RCIA Fund was delivered in partnership with Inspiring Scotland and was open to all community groups as described on the Inspiring Scotland website.

CLLD across Scotland has been supported through the former LEADER programme for nearly 30 years. Funding was awarded by LAG to projects that supported delivery of a Local Development Strategy.

Community Led Local Development - Aims

CLLD aims to address social, environmental and economic issues and include actions affecting rural and island communities to:

  • drive community action on climate change
  • enhance rural services and facilities, including transport initiatives
  • enhance natural/cultural heritage, tourism and leisure
  • support food and drink initiatives (for example short supply chains, community food)
  • build co-operation with similar groups in Scotland, UK and Europe
  • empowering communities to exchange learning and knowledge with each other, realise their potential and build opportunities for all

Other Funding Sources

However, many other funding sources can be utilised to support CLLD including crowdfunding initiatives, wind farm grants, community empowerment funds, participatory budgeting and some Scottish Rural Development Programme schemes, such as Improving Public Access.  You can also use our funding search tool to search for open funding opportunities using a range of search criteria. 

For more information please get in touch with us at, and keep an eye on our social media channels and the news section of our website for further updates.