WHAT IS LEADER?
This programme covers the whole of rural mainland Ayrshire excluding the main urban areas (to check eligibility of your project postcode, please contact the LEADER office).
The main aims of the Ayrshire programme are to support community based projects that will assist in Revitalising Rural Communities and Building Rural Community Capacity which will achieve the principles of LEADER, including: local involvement, wide community benefit, equal opportunities for all, innovation and new ideas, sustainable development and growth and sharing lessons with communities in Scotland and beyond.
LEADER will invest £4.55m of grant funding to provide a fantastic boost in supporting rural economies.
The Local Action Group hope that LEADER will inspire local individuals and groups to take the first steps on a road that will lead to real improvements in everyday living in their communities. That this in turn will be an inspiration to others who wish to see these improvements reflected in their own lives and communities.
Theme 1 BUILDING RURAL COMMUNITY CAPACITY
- Support for community engagement, capacity building and developing a skilled local workforce.
- Co-ordination of community-based organisation and raising their capacity to address the rural development needs of an area in a strategic fashion.
- Support for the formation, growth and development of community-based organisations.
- Training of members of community-based organisations, including training in leadership, training in project management, training in accounting and other aspects of administration.
- Assistance, including professional assistance, where appropriate, in assessing the feasibility of projects and in developing projects to the point where they can be considered for funding by the Local Action Group.
- Actions that help networking and exchange of good practice among community-based organisations and other community groups
Theme 2 REVITALISING RURAL COMMUNITIES
Strong and active communities are recognised as essential for supporting economic development within rural areas. Projects that are community based, providing opportunities for dealing with the challenges of living in remote locations, enhancing the quality of life, may be funded under this theme and your project should meet at least one of the following:
- Strengthening community facilities and services including the conversion and refurbishment of premises for multi-use and/or establishing costs and short-term revenue support to develop local services not provided by the private sector.
- Improving economic and social participation by young people such as the formation and operation of a youth council and ensuring the involvement of young people in local decision making, support to tackle transport needs of young people, development of sports and social activities linked to community facilities or delivered through a social enterprise model as well as activities linked to training for employment opportunities notabley those connected with local services, tourism, leisure development or environmental stewardship.
Support economic and environmental actions linked to tourism and leisure e.g. the construction or conversion of premises to be used as visitor facilities, small scale environmental improvements linked to tourism and leisure use, construction of footpaths and associated signage, community management of environmental assets used for tourism and leisure purposes, advice/consultancy and small-scale financial support for investment by businesses and social enterprises involved in delivering or in supporting tourism and leisure activities, actions designed to mitigate the environmental impacts of tourism and leisure activities.
Your project must fit in to either of the two themes and evidence of this should be
demonstrated throughout the application form.