Highland LEADER encourages potential applicants

Lochaline Harbour
Norette Ferns

Highland LEADER are encouraging potential applicants to come forward with their project ideas.

Funding of over £6.6 million is available for projects that will benefit communities through the area's LEADER programme, which covers the mainland Highlands, the Small Isles and Skye but excludes the city of Inverness and the Cairngorms National Park.

Due to the size of the area and the range of diverse local communities in Highland, the programme has adopted a structure which devolves decision making to seven Local Area Partnerships (LAPs). 

Individuals, groups, organisations and businesses also have the opportunity to apply for funds held centrally by the Strategic LAG. Funding is ring-fenced for Highland wide projects, rural enterprise and farm diversification projects. Funding is also available for cooperation projects between Local Area Partnership areas in Highland and for projects between organisations or groups in Scotland, the UK or Europe.

Fiona Cameron, LEADER Programme Manager said:

"Projects which contribute towards the aims and objectives of the Highland LEADER Programme will be eligible for consideration. The seven Local Area Partnerships have each developed a Local Area Action Plan which outlines development priorities and will guide their funding decisions.

"The Highland LEADER Programme employs five development officers who will support and guide applicants through the process of applying for and managing a LEADER grant."

The Highland LEADER Programme recently made its first approval and to date four projects have been awarded funding.

Lochcarron Community Development Company will benefit from funding of £33,529 approved for a two-year project at Kirkton Woodlands. Activities will include the construction of an all-abilities trail, provision of new locally-designed Viewpoint ‘furniture’ & signboards, a cleared village heritage interpretation project, an ongoing community volunteer programme, and a children’s activities programme. Feasibility studies will also be undertaken, analysing the viability, scale and definition of a number of eco-tourism and business opportunities within the woods.

Morvern Community Development Company was awarded £34,173 for the expansion of pontoon facilities at Lochaline Harbour. Fyrish Gymnastics Club secured £34,200 towards the cost of gymnastics equipment. You can find out more in Highland LEADER funding for gymnastics club.

Caol Regeneration Company proposes to establish a community-owned marina and public slipway adjacent to the Southern outlet of the Caledonian Canal. LEADER funding of £25,000 will support the development phase of the project.

For further information about the Highland LEADER Programme, how to apply and contact details for the development officers, please visit the Highland LEADER website

More about LEADER across Scotland

You can find out about LEADER across Scotland in the LEADER section of our website, where you can also submit an Expression of Interest form if you have an idea for a project.

And watch our short film below to find out more about six inspiring projects that received funding in the LEADER 2007-2013 programme.

Scottish LEADER programme from ScottishRuralNetwork on Vimeo.