Nine community projects across Orkney have recently benefited from funding from Orkney’s LEADER fund.
The projects range from a package of initiatives supporting Orkney’s food, drink and craft sectors to the creation of the St Magnus Way and support for two of Orkney’s museums.
The latest awards (Rounds 4 and 5) bring the total awarded since June 2016 to £940,000 across 17 projects.
The full list of projects to benefit in Rounds 4 and 5 are as follows:
- St Magnus Way – A 55 mile walking route through the mainland of Orkney inspired by the life of St Magnus. LEADER funds will assist in the promotion of the St Magnus Way including the development of the website and an app.
- Farming for Wildlife – An RSPB project in Egilsay to restore habitats within the Onziebust Reserve to help conserve wildlife species such as the curlew, lapwing, corncrake and great yellow bumblebee. The project will improve access and interpretation and deliver a bespoke education programme to help encourage wider conservation work.
- Veg, visitors and vibrancy for Papay – the Papay Development Trust will use the funds to manage a market garden and seasonal ranger service, driving tourism to the island whilst demonstrating the island as a quality place to live and work.
- Orkney Food and Drink/Orkney Craft Association – a package of projects aimed at supporting the development and growth of these sectors raising their profile locally, nationally and internationally. These are two separate projects.
- Lifestyles Public Arts Project – the Lifestyles Centre in Kirkwall has secured funding for an artist to work with clients to create collaborative art work for public display within the centre.
- Stromness Museum – funding has been allocated towards employing a team to work towards the museum’s aim of becoming a Nationally Recognised Collection, raising the museums profile and leading to greater financial sustainability.
- Soulisquoy Printmakers – the printmakers have been allocated funds to deliver classes and workshops on traditional printmaking, as well as providing drop-in sessions for those who wish to work on individual projects.
- Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum – the updating of displays and significant improvements to interpretation across the site, as part of a wider project to restore and conserve the war time naval buildings at Lyness.
LEADER is part of the Scotland Rural Development Programme which funds economic, environmental and social measures for the benefit of rural Scotland.
The Orkney Islands £2.5m LEADER programme 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.
The programme remains open to applicants with Round 6 closing on 26 July (decisions due by the end of September) and Round 7 closing on 15 November (decisions due by the end of January).
Francesca Couperwhite is Chair of the LEADER local action group. She said: “it is encouraging a further 9 projects successfully applying for LEADER funding and particularly pleasing to see some smaller projects coming forward. The LAG is aware some community groups are concerned about the complexities of the LEADER Programme, but there is help available to applicants from the Local LEADER team where Amy and Julie work closely with them guide them through the system”.
For more information on the programme visit the Orkney LEADER website. You can also contact the Orkney LEADER team direct at Orkney Islands Council on 01856873535 extension 2811.