LEADER is a bottom-up method of delivering support  to communities for rural development. Grants are awarded by Local Action Groups to projects that support delivery of a Local Development Strategy.

The aim of LEADER is to increase support to local rural community and business networks to build knowledge and skills, and encourage innovation and cooperation in order to tackle local development objectives.

Local Development Strategies include actions that will allow individuals, communities and businesses 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 other LAGs in Scotland, UK and Europe

  • exchange learning and knowledge with each other, realise their potential, build opportunities for all

LEADER is primarily a rural fund - check the Local Development Strategy areas map for eligible areas.

LEADER is part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) 2014-20.

For examples of LEADER projects funded in the 2007-2013 programme check out our Case Studies section and ten Case Studies from across Scotland and Europe highlighted at the Scottish LEADER Conference 2014.

Have an idea for a LEADER project?

Visit our How to apply section for more information. The first step is to complete an Expression of Interest form.

More about LEADER

We've produced a series of short films showcasing just some of the fantastic projects that received funding in the 2007-13 LEADER programme. Go to our Vimeo Channel to watch them.

You can find out more about LEADER in these short films from the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD).

You can also sign up to our monthly LEADER newsletter for further updates and information.