Letter From The Editor
It’s that festive time of year again when we are all looking forward to a few days of relaxing and indulging ourselves. The team here in the LEADER office have been keeping warm by chasing round all the necessary documentation to get started on the first round of applications.
Unfortunately there have been a number of delays beyond our control and some of the legislative paperwork has not yet been approved and issued. This means that, despite the best efforts of LEADER teams across Scotland, we are not in a position to begin receiving applications before Christmas.
The knock-on effect of this is that the first round of decision-making by the Local Action Group (LAG) will not take place in March 2016 and will be delayed until June 2016. We feel that this is a necessary decision to ensure that the process of decision-making remains as robust as possible in the new programme.
Whilst we appreciate that this may be disappointing news for some of you who were looking to apply right away, we hope that you will understand we have not taken this decision lightly and that we have made this choice in order to protect the integrity of the LEADER programme.
We do still encourage potential applicants to submit their Expressions of Interest to us via the Scottish Rural Network website so that we can begin to have those conversations which will build the strongest applications when the process eventually does go live.
With that being said, all that remains is for me to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 2015 has been challenging for everyone involved in the LEADER programme and we now look forward to 2016 and everything that comes along with it!
Nicola Hill, LEADER Programme Manager
D&G LEADER Visits the Cairngorms LAG
Following on from a recent visit to Dumfries & Galloway by representatives from the Ceredigion LAG area in Wales and from the Cairngorms area of Scotland, D&G LEADER team and LAG members were invited to the national park to attend a conference and see a bit more about how LEADER operates in that area.
Fortunately blessed with clear skies over the two-day trip, the attendees were treated a number of presentations and discussion sessions from Cairngorms LEADER staff, LAG members and groups who had received funding through previous LEADER programmes.
Day two also provided an opportunity to engage with representatives from Scottish Government regarding how the LEADER programme was administered at a national level.
All of this took place in the wonderful surroundings of the Glenmore Lodge which provided a scenic backdrop to what was an enlightening few days for both the team and the LAG members. There was also a visit from a search and rescue helicopter which stopped off for re-fuelling!
We hope that this is the start of a trend of building stronger relationships between LEADER areas across Scotland and beyond, and we look forward to future opportunities to host or attend events of this nature.
D&G LEADER Holiday Opening Hours
During this festive season the LEADER office will be closed for a number of days as follows:
Dec 24th until January 4th (inclusive) – CLOSED
The team will be back in the office from Tuesday 5th January 2016.
Expressions of Interest can be submitted at any time though the website and those will reach us even in our absence, however we will not be in a position to respond to them until we return in January.
This space will be used to showcase projects funded by LEADER as the programme moves forward. Since we are in the very early stages of receiving Expressions of Interest, there is nothing to see here yet!
Instead, here is a summary of the new LEADER programme based on our Local Development Strategy:
LEADER can contribute up to 50% of eligible project costs in most cases which is provided in the form of match funding. Eligible projects will have secured their match funding in the form of cash from other non-EU sources (own funds/trusts/public or private organisations/etc.) prior to their application being taken before the Local Action Group.
For the best chance of approval projects must be able to demonstrate an innovative approach to addressing at least one of the key themes for LEADER: The Economy; Land, Coast and Marine Environment; and Sustainable Settlements
For more information contact us at LEADER office or visit our website: www.dgleader.co.uk