Community Led Local Development fund for rural Ayrshire and the islands launched.

Susan Thomson

The Community Led Local Development (CLLD) fund for rural Ayrshire and the islands has just launched for its second year. 

The Ayrshire Rural and Islands Ambition (ARIA) Fund is open mid-June to mid-August, and currently has around £450k to allocate. It is open to community groups, thirds sector orgs, farmers and rural enterprises. The fund is part of the Scottish Government's CLLD programme, which makes up part of its Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP). 

The ARIA Fund is led by the ARIA Local Action Group (LAG), a group of representatives from the local area so its decision making is bottom up and is administered by South Ayrshire Council.

ARIA is operating three distinct funding streams this year: the main fund, Communities into Action Fund and Community Asset Maintenance.

Co-ordinator Angela Lamont said:

“With the distinct streams in operation we feel there’s something for everyone.  Important to us is capacity building so you will see resource focussed on supporting applicants”

The ARIA team is also running information sessions which are available to book. These will run for 1 - 1.5 hours each.  It is strongly advised that applicants book onto a session as this is where the majority of the information will be shared.

Previous applicant Robin Kelly from Little Peru, South Ayrshire commented:

“The ARIA application process was supportive and transparent.  It made us hone and reflect on our core business values and bring our vision to life. The funding and guidance from ARIA has provided the springboard for our business to grow and prosper”

Little Peru is the first Ayrshire alpaca trekking experience set up with the help of ARIA in 22/23.  The project included solar panels and storage, an Electric Vehicle charging point, and purchase of the alpacas themselves!

To find out more, including Indicative Key Dates, an eligible area map and details of how to book onto an information session, please visit

For more information on Little Peru, please visit