West Lothian LEADER

West Lothian landscape, courtesy of Ross G. Strachan on Flickr

The LEADER area covers the whole of the local council area with the exception of Livingston. However, projects located in urban areas will be potentially eligible if they can demonstrate benefits to the outlying rural areas.

Two thirds of the area is predominately used for agriculture. The eastern half of West Lothian was once dominated by shale oil, whilst the west of West Lothian formed part of Scotland’s central coalfield. Both these natural resources were greatly exploited in the 19th and early 20th centuries and contributed to the development of a number of West Lothian’s communities. The rapid development of these ‘boom’ communities meant the loss of these industries was felt heavily.

West Lothian is now one of the fastest growing areas of Scotland and with transport links to both Glasgow and Edinburgh it is well placed to meet demand for house building increasing its population further. This growth presents the area with both threats and opportunities, not at least in the ability maintain community cohesion.

Aims and objectives

The aims and objectives of West Lothian LEADER are split into three main themes:

Well-connected communities

  • Improved digital inclusion
  • Improved access to affordable transport
  • Improved knowledge sharing and partnership working

Stronger communities

  • Improved skills and increased access to job opportunities
  • More sustainable social enterprises and small businesses
  • Reduced rural poverty and improved financial inclusion
  • Making the most of community assets
  • Improved health and wellbeing in rural communities

Improved local environment

  • Preserved and enhanced local heritage, landscape and environment
  • Improved visitor numbers and experience

In addition to the themes outlined above, the LAG also proposes a number of cross-cutting themes which projects will have to address. These are:

Cross cutting themes: 

  • Equalities
  • Innovation
  • Sustainability (by which we mean continuity and/or legacy)
  • Partnership working

Contact details

West Lothian LEADER

Photo courtesy of Ross G. Strachan on Flickr Creative Commons