Further information on LEADER and the Scottish Rural Development Programme can be found on the Scottish Rural Network website.
LEADER - Expression of Interest Form
LEADER in Scotland 2014-20 will be expanding to 21 Local Action Groups (LAGS) + 14 Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGS) (Under the European Fisheries Fund) covering most of the coastline. Leader will include many of the features of the previous programmes, including its distinctive locally led approach. However, it will be important to build on the experience from the previous Programmes.
Under the current programming period the LEADER approach was adopted by 20 Local Action Groups (LAGs) across almost all of rural Scotland (under the SRDP) + 11 Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs) (Under the European Fisheries Fund) covering most of the coastline.
Local Development Strategies (LDS) currently focus actions that support rural development and fisheries interests across Scotland based on priorities identified by communities and businesses.
This was the first time that LEADER was delivered under an EC Rural Regulation. Delivery of LEADER in the current SRDP has been characterised by several key difficulties: Ongoing issues with the management and control regime as part of the wider SRDP, resulting in a local delivery method dominated by processes: the resultant need for changes to reduce risk (through updates to guidance, claims processes etc) and; LEADER being widely regarded as a rural communities grant scheme rather than an integrated territorial development tool on a local level.
Despite the issues above, LEADER has delivered multiple outcomes with huge diversity and community/business buy in across the 2200+ initiatives supported across rural Scotland since 2007. These include areas such as food, tourism, transport, digital, access, biodiversity, landscape, culture, health, employment, leisure, youth, services, regeneration and historic environment. The development and delivery of these measures has also contributed significantly to enabling capacity in rural areas.