The LEADER funded Eagle Observatory in Harris. Photo courtesy of The North Harris Trust
The invitation for local businesses and community groups to apply for financial assistance has been issued by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar as the next round of LEADER funding becomes available.
The Outer Hebrides LEADER 2014-2020 Programme has supported a number of projects and the Local Action Group, who manage the funds, are now seeking applications from those who would like to introduce and develop new and innovative ideas focussing around young people, crofting diversification, renewables and new activities for visitors and locals to enjoy and experience.
Funding is, however, limited – and the Comhairle warn that this may be the final call for applications from the Outer Hebrides LEADER 2014-2020 pot; those interested being urged to contact the LEADER team at the earliest opportunity should they wish to discuss proposals.
The next deadline for applications for projects seeking LEADER support is Wednesday, October 11th.
Prospective applicants should initially submit an expression of interest through the website at www.outerhebridesleader.co.uk and a LEADER officer will then get back to discuss proposals and eligibility.
Ideally projects should have match funding in place by the application submission deadline, and must demonstrate innovative solutions to support community and economic development for the Outer Hebrides.
Projects must not have started; show that they will benefit the local community; be completely different to what the enterprise is already offering, and not displace other existing businesses.
LEADER can support both capital and revenue projects, including new products and services, initiatives, and creating new networking opportunities.
And projects which aim to develop networking opportunities and learn new skills from their counterparts in other LEADER areas in Scotland, UK, Europe or further afield can also be considered, with separate funding available to support these.
Co-operation projects can focus on any sector and will attract a higher intervention rate if assisted.
LEADER funding has been delivering community-led local development opportunities to Outer Hebrides’ communities for over 25 years – to date it has supported over 700 projects and committed over £9.5million LEADER funding throughout the islands, together with levering in an additional £20million of public and private funding.