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.
Funded by the European Union and Scottish Government, the 2014-2020 LEADER programme will be delivered in Scotland by 21 Local Action Groups (LAGs) implementing Local Development Strategies and Business Plans for their area.
An important part of the LEADER principle is innovation.
All projects approved will have to demonstrate how they are innovative and how they fit with the main themes of “Revitalising Communities and Progressive Rural Economy”.
The target groups are Women, Young People, Micro and Small Businesses and Self Employed and Social Enterprises.
Case study: Balquhidder Community Broadband
The lack of effective broadband connection in the rural area of Balquhidder in central Scotland motivated the inhabitants to build their own network. They set up the co-operative “Balquhidder Community Broadband” and took on the physical task of laying down the infrastructure and installing fibre optic cables in order serve most of the households in their area.
They combined LEADER funding with other funding sources in order to hire experts to work with them on this project. This is a great example of a community working together to bring high-speed broadband to their area.
In the last year, Moray LEADER has invested in a range of exciting projects that will strengthen Moray’s communities and build the local economy.