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Collaborative Local Development Strategies

As of 27 March 2010, the Collaborative Local Development Strategies option is no longer available under Rural Priorities.

Support is now available under the LEADER delivery mechanism. Please contact your Local Action Group for further information.

Please note that contracts already awarded through Rural Priorities will continue to be dealt with by Rural Priorities.


This Option aims to empower rural communities to look at the wider picture and evolve a development strategy suited to local needs. ("Local" refers to a small area of the country such as a village or even smaller settlements, which are geographically distinct and usually extend to no more than several square miles.) This would allow all future projects and development works to fit into a coherent and integrated framework.

Local Development Strategies make good use of limited resources through their emphasis on forward planning and are a key feature of a thriving community. The most effective strategies are developed following considerable research, community and stakeholder consultation, and input from those leading the strategy, and are completed well before project work begins.

What will this achieve?

This Option will empower rural communities to articulate their aspirations, gain confidence to engage with funders, and increase their capacity to deliver projects and developments.

One of the outputs of this work must be a Collaborative Local Development Strategy, which will clearly identify local priorities and demonstrate how planned development works and projects will contribute to achieving them. It will co-ordinate future investment to maximise benefits to the community. The strategy should encompass one or more measures to diversify the rural economy; improve the quality of life in rural areas; and/or to provide complementary training for economic actions.

Comparable Collaborative Local Development Strategies have been developed by Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and Stirling Council as part of their Community Futures Programme. More information about this can be found at http://www.lochlomond-trossachs.org/living/community-futures/menu-id-200.html.

The starting point for this work should be the relevant LEADER Local Development Strategy at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Rural/SRDP/LEADER . A Collaborative Local Development Strategy will develop this further for a local area.

What you can do

This Option funds the set up and running costs of a partnership - or collaboration - between public and private organisations, including key stakeholders engaged in rural development within affected communities, to consult, create and maintain a development strategy for the local area. The partnership may co-ordinate project implementation, further studies and applications for grants.

Funding for the projects and development works identified in the strategy is not eligible under this Option.

Who can apply?

One of the constituted bodies involved in setting up the Collaborative Local Development Partnership, provided that it has a bank account.

Eligibility criteria

Collaborative Local Development Partnerships should be made of at least 33% non-public sector representatives.

What costs could be supported?

  • Incorporation or constitution of the group
  • Minor running costs
  • Preparation of funding applications and project monitoring
  • Training of staff involved in the preparation and implementation of the Local Development Strategy
  • Training of community leaders
  • Relevant studies of the area, e.g.: community profile, feasibility studies, marketing strategies, business plans
  • Provision of information about the area and the Local Development Strategy once developed
  • Promotional events

To ensure value for money we require you to provide two competitive quotes for any capital items or services applied for, which are based on actual cost. If, however, you are seeking grant support towards something so specialised it is only available through one source then we would accept one quote. Please see the guidance on quotes and estimates for more information.

Rate of support

The rate of support for this option is 50%. A maximum of 15% of the public (not just Rural Priorities) expenditure relating to the Local Development Strategy, if approved, can be devoted to the running costs of the public-private partnership.

Payment will be made in two stages, 70% on award of the contract and the remaining on approval of the Local Development Strategy by the Partnership.

In addition to the maximum grant levels, the total amount of grant payable for non-agricultural, commercial activities can be limited because of rules applied in relation to State Aid.


An application should include the following:


  • Details of the partnership's membership demonstrating the 33% non-public sector representation
  • A copy of the applicant's constitution (e.g. Grazings Regulations, Articles of Association)
  • Evidence of local democratic processes, e.g. (meetings advertised and minutes produced)
  • The appointment of a Local Development Strategy Co-ordinator(s)
  • Evidence of understanding public and private sector funding available and how to access it.

Where applicable

  • A note of any sub-groups involved in the planning and implementation process
  • Evidence of the cross partnership arrangements between the partnership and Sub-Groups for agreeing and implementing the strategy.

Requirements for Release of Payment:

First Phase (Planning)

  • 70% of the award will be released on approval

Second Phase (Implementation)

  • Completed Local Development Strategy
  • Evidence of monitoring by the Strategy Co-ordinator(s)
  • Evidence of community meetings/events held/reports to disseminate information to all participants
  • Evidence of community skills acquisition
  • Evidence of implementation activity, e.g. sourcing additional grants, engaging further professional services.

Links to relevant support and technical guidance

Rural Direct is a service designed to help rural community organisations to access funding from a range of sources including the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP). Rural Direct is a national service delivered locally by SCVO.

Big Lottery Fund

Business Gateway

Scottish Enterprise

Highlands and Islands Enterprise