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Call for community and farming projects to apply for LEADER cash

Pictured here are the LEADER team — Alison Nimmo, centre, with assistant project officers Jill Sutcliffe (left) and Jenna Milne (right).

Community groups with big ideas, and farmers considering diversification options, are reminded that time is ticking to make an application to the Orkney LEADER fund.

Seven funding rounds to date have already committed over £1.18m to 21 local projects with a total value of over £2.5m.

Part of the Scotland Rural Development Programme which funds economic, environmental and social measures for the benefit of rural Scotland, LEADER grants are decided by a local panel, for projects that are led by the local community or are in the local community’s interest and provide economic and community development within Orkney.

Active farmers may also apply for farm diversification funds to assist with the viability of their farm business.

The LEADER programme remains open to applicants, with Round 9 closing on 16 May 2018. With funds steadily becoming committed and the requirement to have awarded all funds by March 2019, it’s likely there will be limited funding rounds in following months,

LEADER Development Officer, Alison Nimmo, said: “March 2019 is not far away when you are talking about getting a community project complete. We’d really like to see all the funding available to Orkney benefitting Orkney, so we’d urge any potential applicants to get in contact with us as early as possible to discuss ideas big and small — including other funding they might be able to access such as the Council’s Community Development Fund.”

For more information on the programme visit the Orkney LEADER website. You can also contact the Orkney LEADER team direct at Orkney Islands Council on 01856873535 extension 2811.