Young LEADER funded Skiff Project in Outer Hebrides

Hannah Downey

The Outer Hebrides LEADER 2014-2020 Programme this year launched a unique fund, specifically designed to support Young People. The fund was delivered in partnership with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and the Bridge Community Centre.

The LEADER Youth Fund was made available to provide funding to projects aimed at supporting young people and youth initiatives. What was unique about this fund is that all decisions on applications were fundamentally decided upon by young people, through LEADER’s newly established Youth Local Action Group (LAG).  

The Youth LAG, who were responsible for allocating the £100,000 Youth Fund, are a group of young people aged between 14 – 25 years. To apply to the Youth Fund projects had to directly benefit young people and youth initiatives, demonstrating innovative solutions to support community benefit. Funding was available for up to 90% of total eligible Project costs with a minimum grant requirement of £1,000.

The Youth LAG formally launched their new fund in the New Year, which coincided with Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, with events taking place throughout the Islands so prospective applicants could meet the Youth LAG and also find out more about the fund.

One of the successful applications to the fund was made by the Bragar and Arnol Community Trust (also known as Urras Coimhearsnachd Bhradhagair agus Arnoil, UCBA) who received £16,678 towards their Skiff project. 

The trust will use the funds to build an innovative Mark4 St Ayles Skiff which will be especially adapted for use by young people and the disabled. The fund will also help to cover a suitable trailer and launch trolley for the Skiff and specialised safety equipment both for the skiff and the junior rowers. 


The UCBA already has a well established rowing group for their current skiff, named ‘Fir Chlis’, which has been incredibly successful and popular with the local community - you can check out some great photos of the skiff by UCBA on their facebook page. The Community Trust hopes to use this Skiffs success as a model for their new specially designed boat when the build is completed, so keep an eye out for an update through our newsletter!