Aberdeenshire LEADER

The Aberdeenshire LEADER Programme, financed by the European Community and Scottish Government, is calling for new applications.

The funding programme closed to new applications in September last year after the Local Action Group (LAG) had awarded all remaining funds to various community projects.

Due to savings from some current projects and an additional allowance from the Scottish Government, funds are now available for new projects through Aberdeenshire LEADER and LAG is now encouraging applications from groups across the area with a first submission deadline for new applications of Monday, April 30.

Funding is awarded to projects that demonstrate broad community benefit particularly with a theme of ‘revitalising communities’ and ‘progressive rural economy’. The LAG will consider a grant rate of up to 50 per cent of total eligible costs for projects that are at an advanced stage of development, and funding should be spent by March 2014.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Economic Development and LAG chairperson, Belinda Miller, said: “I am delighted to announce that from today Aberdeenshire LEADER will be accepting new applications.

“We expect there will be three assessment rounds in 2012, which will be a welcome boost for local groups developing projects. “In the four years since the programme was launched, 114 projects have been awarded LEADER funding. LEADER has delivered tangible benefit to rural Aberdeenshire.”

The council’s LEADER Co-ordinator, Vicky Thomson, said: “We expect strong interest from community groups and other eligible bodies over the coming months.”

Potential applicants should contact Jamie Wilkinson, LEADER project officer, for advice prior to applying on (01467) 628262, or at: Jamie.wilkinson@aberdeenshire.gov.uk.

Further information is available at: www.aberdeenshireleader.org