LEADER is a rural development grant scheme made up of funds from the European Union and the Scottish Government but disbursed locally by groups called Local Action Groups (referred to as LAGs). These LAGs are made up of a group of agency members and community members with the majority of membership always being made up of community members. The LEADER staff team are housed within Local Authorities but their direction and management is controlled by the LAGs.
There are some aspects of LEADER that are common to all successful projects. LEADER has an emphasis on funding projects that are created from the ground up with all projects having to show substantial community buy in and LEADER has an emphasis on funding innovative projects.
Tyne Esk LEADER
The Tyne Esk LEADER Local Action Group (LAG) covers rural East Lothian and rural Midlothian, which includes both regions apart from the centre of Musselburgh and the centre of Dalkeith. The LAG commissioned a Local Development Strategy outlining issues faced by the rural communities and strategic objectives to target the LEADER funds and address these issues. The Local Development Strategy can be found here but a summary of the funding objectives is in the table below. The Business Plan outlining how the LAG will disburse the money can be found here.
Tyne Esk LEADER have been allocated £3.49m towards the 2014 - 2020 LEADER Programme with a minimum of 10% allocated for farm diversification, a minimum of 10% allocated for rural enterprise projects, a minimum of 10% allocated for cooperation projects and a maximum of 25% going towards administering the fund with the rest going towards the main grant scheme. The LAG has been meeting regularly and made the decision that there would be a minimum and maximum grant amount of £10,000 and £200,000 respectively for all grant schemes.
A full staff team is in place from August 2016, comprising a Co-Ordinator, Project Officer and Financial Support Officer.