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.
Guidance on LEADER and relevant documents can be found at LEADER guidance
Closure of the LEADER 2014- 2020 Programme
All project approvals were to be confirmed by 31 December 2019 and all projects have to be completed in line with the now extended closure of the programme, due to COVID-19 delays, by 31 December 2021. There will be no more expressions of interest or funding available for this Programme.
More about LEADER
We've produced some short films highlighting projects tha have received funding from LEADER -- from alpaca trekking to tea growing! 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).