Will LEADER Funding continue after Brexit?

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LEADER funding after Brexit was the topic of a debate at the Scottish Parliament on 6th March 2018.  

MSP for Angus, Mairi Gougeon, put forward the motion to acknowledge LEADER funding and to seek urgent clarity from the UK Government on what will replace it following the current programme in 2020.

LEADER’s History of Diverse Projects

All speakers praised the LEADER programme, both in its past and present forms, for the rich diversity of projects it has brought Scotland and the amount it has contributed to the local economy.  Most also thanked Mairi Gougeon MSP for bringing the subject to debate (and pronouncing the French acronym so well! – ‘Leader’ stands for ‘Links between actions for the development of the rural economy’)

Improving Small Community Groups Access to LEADER

Liam McArthur MSP spoke about is wife’s experience with a LEADER application, and although she was delighted to have been successful, she had worked hard to navigate the administrative requirements and LARCs computer system.  He called for the scope to simplify the process to make it more accessible, in particular to the small community groups at the heart of rural communities.

What Next For LEADER?

We do not know what will happen after this Leader programme but we are optimistic that there will be some sort of continued community-led local development programme.

[Pictured above are Mairi Gougeon MSP (left) and Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Minister for the Rural Economy and Connectivity (3rd right), with members of the Tyne Esk LEADER staff team and LAG, Angus LEADER staff team, and a representative from Social Investments Scotland.]

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