Futureproofing rural and island communities

A photo of the shorefront at Plockton
Hannah Downey

Rural and island communities will be funded to trial initiatives that will improve the future approach to rural community support.

The Scottish Government is allocating £3M of funding to support development of community led local development (CLLD) pilots within rural and island communities. The pilots will help grow sustainable and thriving communities, ensuring local voices shape and drive their development. 

A collaborative approach between stakeholder organisations and Scottish Government to maximise all available funding streams will be key to developing pilots. The pilots will test a range of approaches and models with monitoring and evaluation measures in place to ensure viability of the initiatives.

In the new financial year Scottish Government policy officials, supported by the Scottish Rural Network, will work collaboratively with stakeholders to scope development of these 'test of change' pilot projects.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:

“To approach the future we will need to target support to action the change rural Scotland wants to see. CLLD was delivered in the last Scottish Rural Development Programme through EU funding in LEADER, but the UK Government has still not set out what replacement funding will be available. The Scottish Government is ensuring that the vital work of LEADER to supporting local communities can continue.

“Whilst there were many strengths and benefits to LEADER we are keen to see increased participation and co-operation. The plan is to develop criteria working with groups representative of all in our society to build in inclusion and ambition. This way we take the best from the LEADER approach and future proof this so that the lessons from history are considered. This funding is a great example of collaborative working between the Scottish Government and local communities.”

For media enquiries please contact info@ruralnetwork.scot