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£2.27m rural development fund open for applications in Scotland

Words: Laura Edgar
Forth Valley

A new EU development funding programme covering the rural Forth Valley and Lomond area is open for applications from communities and businesses.

Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER, which cover rural Stirling, rural Clackmannanshire and rural West Dumbartonshire, including the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, has been allocated £2.78 million by the Scottish Government and the European Union.

The money aims to help fund projects that will deliver a positive economic impact in the rural area as well as meet the strategic objectives set out in the LEADER Local Development Strategy.

The strategy was written following consultation with local communities and businesses, focussing on strengthening the rural economy, supporting communities to become more sustainable and realising economic potential of our landscape assets.

The Local Action Group held an event to launch the fund, at which attendees were able to discuss with previous LEADER applicants and learn about the programme.

Peter Sunderland, chair of the Local Action Group, said: “LEADER is about making rural areas better places to live and work, while becoming more sustainable. Our priorities for projects and businesses that apply for funding are food and drink, sustainable tourism, environmental landscape, community empowerment and creative industries.”

Image credit | Shuttershock