Outer Hebrides LEADER programme opens

North Harris Eagle Observatory with rainbow above
Outer Hebrides LEADER

The Outer Hebrides LEADER Local Action Group is delighted to announce that the Outer Hebrides LEADER 2014-2020 Programme has been awarded over £3m to support projects throughout the islands and Expressions of Interest are now being accepted.

LEADER focuses on delivering a bottom-up method for encouraging and promoting rural development. Support is primarily, aimed at small-scale projects that are pilot and innovative in nature and can be from community groups, social enterprises, businesses and individuals. Vitally each project must benefit the local community by encouraging sustainability and activity in an area.

Projects being developed by and for the community and voluntary sectors can be supported to ensure they develop and that new opportunities are created for those living in the Outer Hebrides.

New ventures in small rural businesses can also be assisted to establish themselves or diversify into new markets and also projects which promote diversification in crofting or farming are sought. This can include widening the crofters portfolio by developing innovative measures to sustainably develop the land.  Furthermore projects which involve networking and sharing knowledge and ideas with groups in other parts of the islands, Scotland or further afield are also encouraged.

All projects require to meet at least one of the objectives of the Outer Hebrides LEADER 2014-2020 Local Development Strategy which are:

  • Promote renewable energy and efficiency

  • Support and develop rural services and facilities

  • Develop and aid new tourism Initiatives – focusing on natural, archaeological, creative, cultural and Gaelic heritage

  • Support and encourage the development of SMEs and community enterprises

  • Develop crofting related ideas and encouraging diversification

  • Support community Ffsheries and marine initiatives

  • Network with Local Action Groups in Scotland, UK and Europe

Visit the Outer Hebrides LEADER website for more information on the programme.

You can submit an Expression of Interest on the Scottish Rural Network website.

The Outer Hebrides LEADER Local Action Group is being part-financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community LEADER 2014-2020 programme.