LEADER: an innovative approach to rural development. Its aim is to promote community-led local development to support a sustainable rural economy. Funding is allocated by the Cairngorms Local Action Group set up to deliver the Local Development Strategy.
The Cairngorms Local Action Group is a group of people who are representative of different parts of the community including residents, businesses, charities and the Public Sector. They decide how to invest LEADER funding in the Cairngorms to best deliver the Local Development Strategy.
The aim is to encourage local communities or businesses to be involved in projects that help the communities of the Cairngorms National Park to thrive and become more sustainable. The LEADER approach is about developing links to build the strength of communities. There are six priority Themes for investment within the Strategy. These are:
• Build community capacity
• Grow the economy of the Park
• Attract and retain young people
• Improve transport, connectivity and services
• Protection and enhancement of the landscape and heritage
• Excellence in tourism and recreation
The Local Development Strategy also highlights the need for the cross-cutting themes of Equality, Knowledge Sharing, Innovation, Partnership Working and Sustainability.
LEADER is a bottom-up method of delivering support to communities for rural development. Grants are awarded by Local Action Groups to projects that support delivery of a Local Development Strategy.
The aim of LEADER is to increase support to local rural community and business networks to build knowledge and skills, and encourage innovation and cooperation in order to tackle local development objectives.
LEADER is part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) 2014-20.
As well as funding, the LEADER project provides help to initiatives through supporting networking, partnership development, project support and training including project management, project finances and control, reporting, monitoring and evaluation, and advice. The Local Action Group has a dedicated staff team, including Development & Support Officers, to assist initiatives involved in the LEADER process.