Futureproofing rural and island communities

Turning the old school building into a community hub has long been an ambition on Kerrera. NO_T40_Oldschoolkerrera
Turning the old school building into a community hub has long been an ambition on Kerrera. Picture from Isle of Kerrera Development Trust.

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Rural areas and islands are to receive funding for a pilot scheme to shape up future support for communities.

The community-led local development (CLLD) pilots, supported by £3 million from the Scottish Government, will help grow thriving communities, making sure their voices drive forward development.

Scoping work to develop the pilot schemes will start in the new financial year.

Schemes could benefit the likes of Kerrera where a project is ongoing to turn the old school on the island into a bustling community hub.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said support needs to be targeted to action the change rural Scotland wants to see.

‘CLLD was delivered in the last Scottish Rural Development Programme through EU funding in LEADER, but the UK Government has still not set out what replacement funding will be available. The Scottish Government is ensuring that the vital work of LEADER to supporting local communities can continue.

‘Whilst there were many strengths and benefits to LEADER, we are keen to see increased participation and co-operation. The plan is to develop criteria working with groups representative of all in our society to build in inclusion and ambition. This way we take the best from the LEADER approach and future proof this so that the lessons from history are considered. This funding is a great example of collaborative working between the Scottish Government and local communities.’