Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Local groups urged to go for the ‘perfect package’ of community funding

Local groups urged to go for the ‘perfect package’ of community funding
26 September 2017

Groups in Orkney who are looking to carry out a community based project are being urged to consider applying for Orkney Islands Council’s ‘perfect package’ of funding – the LEADER fund and the Community Development Fund.

LEADER is part of the Scotland Rural Development Programme which funds economic, environmental and social measures for the benefit of rural Scotland. Orkney’s £2.5m LEADER funding offers funding for small scale, pilot projects led by the local community or that are in the local community interest, with the aim to promote economic and community development within Orkney. LEADER can provide up to 50% of project costs.

The Council’s £1m Community Development Fund, which comes via the Council’s Strategic Reserve Fund, also provides grant assistance of up to 50% of project costs. It supports a wide range of community projects for example community halls, playparks and football pitches.

Nearly a third of the LEADER projects that have been approved in the current programme of funding also received Community Development Fund monies.

One recent project to secure support from both funds was the upgrade of the Burray Community Hall. A video on this project is available here.

Groups considering applying for funding, need to get in touch as soon as possible, as there are a limited number of LEADER funding rounds left in which projects will be able to gain approval and all funds need to be committed by March 2019. The application process requires projects to be well thought through and worked up prior to submitting their final application, which does take time.

Harvey Johnston is the Convener of Orkney Islands Council. He said: “The Community Development Fund and LEADER funds make a huge difference to people in Orkney, supporting projects across the county that change lives, no matter how big or small that project is. I’d encourage any community groups who’ve got a project in mind to get their skates on and get in touch with our funding teams at the Council.”

For further information on LEADER contact amy.esslemont@orkney.gov.uk and phone 01856873535 extension 2855; for information on the Community Development Fund contact Jordan Low by telephone on extension 2538 or by e-mail to jordan.low@orkney.gov.uk.