LEADER New Programme Announcement

Dumfries and Galloway LEADER are delighted to announce that they have successfully secured a further £5.595M of funding for investment into community projects across the region. Working in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway Council, the Dumfries and Galloway LEADER team have produced a new Local Development Strategy which will guide the implementation of the new programme and allocation of these funds. Following a robust assessment process the strategy has now been approved by the Scottish Government who have also confirmed that Dumfries and Galloway will receive one of the highest allocations of LEADER funding in Scotland.

The new programme was officially launched in Whithorn on Saturday 12th September as part of Day of the Region, which is an annual region-wide celebration of community spirit facilitated and supported by the LEADER team. Festivities on what proved to be a memorable and enjoyable day were joined by Aileen McLeod, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, as well as members of the Local Action Group. Aileen McLeod,  said “LEADER is a hugely important way of supporting the development of communities and economic growth across rural Scotland. I am very pleased that Dumfries and Galloway LEADER have been awarded £5.595 million for the next round of community projects. I would like to congratulate Dumfries and Galloway on being the first part of Scotland to launch their new LEADER programme and I look forward to seeing it build on the success of previous initiatives, such as Day of the Region and Capacity for Change, as they implement their Local Development Strategy over the next five years.

”LEADER in Dumfries and Galloway has been supporting rural communities for over 20 years and during that time has awarded over £10.5M in grants to 208 projects spanning the length and breadth of the region. This latest injection of cash for the 2014-2020 programme marks the beginning of a very exciting time in rural development for Dumfries and Galloway, and will allow the LEADER team to help more community groups and businesses develop and deliver projects than ever before.

Implementation of the Local Development Strategy is carried out by a partnership of individuals, known as the LEADER Local Action Group, who are enlisted voluntarily based on their skills and experience in a wide range of areas. This presents an exciting opportunity for individuals to be involved in rural development on a local and regional level, contributing to what is already proven to be a successful mechanism for economic, social and environmental investment across Dumfries and Galloway. LEADER Programme Manager for Dumfries and Galloway, Nicola Hill stated “We are entering a very exciting time in rural development for Dumfries and Galloway. This allocation of funding presents us with a fantastic opportunity to support local groups, businesses and organisations in developing creative and innovative solutions to the challenges facing many of our small rural and coastal communities.” With the programme launch we are now able to receive initial expressions of interest from potential applicants to be submitted through an online form which can be found on the Scottish Rural Network website at: https://www.ruralnetwork.scot/funding/leader/expression-interest-form.
Peter Ross, chair of interim Local Action Group hopes they, "Are inundated with ideas and projects from across the whole of the region."

Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Colin Smyth said, “Building our local economy is the top priority for our Council and the LEADER Programme plays a big role in helping achieve that. Hundreds of local projects have benefited from previous LEADER programme funding over the past two decades and with the new programme now open for applications many others will now benefit, supporting communities the length and breadth of the region”If you would like to discuss this process or require more information on the LEADER Programme please contact the Programme Manager using the details below:
Nicola Hill
01387 260028
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