LEADER funding for Rural Youth Project

Group of young people in field
Norette Ferns

The Rural Youth Project has been awarded funding from five LEADER Local Action Groups across Scotland.

Support of £191,170 has been awarded by LEADER in Angus, Lanarkshire, Outer Hebrides, Rural Perth and Kinross, and the Scottish Borders.

The Rural Youth Project is a movement for positive change to empower young people (18 to 28 years of age), through developing their leadership, business and enterprise skills, whilst encouraging positive activism, making rural places attractive and viable for them to build their lives.

The project will use the funding to support activity between September 2019 and October 2020 including entrepreneurship and leadership workshops, two rural youth ideas festivals, vlogging by young people, development of international relationships, a series of film case studies and a steering committee with more than 40 percent of the board under the age of 35.

They will also develop their digital presence and regular email newsletters, as well as appoint a Communications and Project Coordinator and an Admin and Bookkeeper. 

Explaining the importance of Rural LEADER support, Jackie Brierton chair of Rural Perth and Kinross LEADER LAG said:

"We are delighted to be able to support the next stage of the Rural Youth Project as a LEADER Cooperation, following on and developing the work carried out at the Rural Youth Festival in 2018.  Aligning with our local development strategy by supporting and encouraging young people who live rurally, it’s an engaging concept and supports our strategic aims to develop skills and leadership potential in rural Scotland. Focusing on the issues highlighted in the earlier stages of the project, this will empower young people to make the changes they want to see in their rural communities, making them places they want to live."

Rebecca Dawes, Director and co-founder of the Rural Youth Project said:

"We are extremely excited that the Rural Youth Project has received support as part of a LEADER co-operation project. Our 2018 rural youth survey highlighted that only 13% felt they had a say about the decisions affecting their local community, with over 80% living in rural areas due to emotional or family ties.

"Activities over the coming year will help to develop connections between rural youth groups and the network of people and organisations upholding social, economic and community development.

"In our survey 73% said they were mildly or very optimistic about the future but were seeking out training in media and communications, entrepreneurship, basic business and networking in rural communities. We have listened and with the support of this funding, the Rural Youth Project will be supporting skills development to empower young people to invest their energy and talent into making rural places more attractive and vibrant to current and future generations."

Jane Craigie, Director and co-founder of the Rural Youth Project added:

"Our work to date has indicated a desire amongst young people to develop links between rural and urban communities, to encourage mutual understanding as well as social and commercial opportunities. Part of our focus during the remainder of 2019 and early 2020 will be to explore this further and to look at how “cool businesses” can play a vital role in attracting and retaining young people in rural areas.

"A core focus of the project will be story-seeking and telling, sharing ideas from Scotland and across the world to celebrate successful initiatives that can be replicated or adapted to meet the needs of rural youth and our communities."

To find out more about the Rural Youth Project:

The Rural Youth Project was initiated by, and is managed by, Jane Craigie Marketing. 

The project partners are: