The Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) 2014-2020 funds economic, environmental and social measures for the benefit of rural Scotland. It is part of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and is funded by the European Commission and the Scottish Government. The key purpose of the SRDP is to help achieve sustainable economic growth in Scotland’s rural areas. It’s main priorities are:
The SRDP is made up of different schemes that provide grants and support, one of which is the LEADER Programme. LEADER will provide opportunities for individuals, businesses and communities to come together and support rural development and provide long lasting benefits to the local area.
Support is available for farm diversification projects as well as non-agricultural small/medium businesses. The aim of LEADER is to increase support to local rural community and business networks to build knowledge and skills, and encourage innovation and cooperation in order to tackle local development objectives.
Grants are awarded by Local Action Groups (LAG) to projects that support delivery of a Local Development Strategy (LDS). Within the Dumfries and Galloway LAG there are four groups. These consist of the Rural Enterprise Group, the Communities Group, the FLAG (EMFF) Group and the overarching Strategic Management Group.
The main duties of the LAG are to develop approaches to the stimulation of applications, to complete a thorough assessment and appraisal of applications, approve application, provide feedback to successful and unsuccessful applicants, and monitor project progress. The LAG meet formally on a quarterly basis to review applications, always ensuring the link to the LDS and LEADER key themes is upheld by the project.