Three local projects have been allocated funding in the latest round of LEADER awards.
The funding awards have been made 'in principle' which means additional work - for example planning permission - is needed before the full award is confirmed.
The three projects to receive funding are a North Ronaldsay Development Manager and upgrading of the Deerness and Sandwick community halls.
A North Ronaldsay Development Manager will be employed through the fund to pull together projects identified by the islanders in their Island Development Plan. The projects will assist in ensuring the long term economic and social sustainability of North Ronaldsay and includes initiatives like gateway housing, broadband improvements and the staging of a Dark Skies event.
Both the community hall projects will see substantial improvements made to the buildings. The Deerness project comprises extending the hall to include a permanent stage with disabled lift access, the creation of a multipurpose room, improvements to lighting and heating and additional shower and toilet facilities. The Sandwick project includes moving and upgrading the kitchen facilities, additional storage space, and insulation and heating systems.
Both hall projects also received funding from Orkney Islands Council's Community Development Fund this week.
Francesca Couperwhite is Chair of the local LEADER Action Group. She said: "The three applications accessed during this funding round had a geographic spread and the LAG was happy to approved the projects as they demonstrated that they would bring significant benefits to their local communities.”
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 programme offers funding for projects that are led by the local community or are in the local community’s interest, with the aim to provide economic and community development within Orkney.
The programme remains open to applicants with Round 8 closing on 21 February 2018. There are likely to be a limited number of funding rounds following this, with funds steadily becoming committed and the requirement to have awarded all funds by March 2019.
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.
Notes to editors
- The overall project cost for the North Ronaldsay Development Manager post is £41,507.97 with LEADER contributing £20,749.97 (50%).
- The overall LEADER eligible project cost for the Deerness Hall is £231,610.99, with LEADER contributing £107,009 - CDF will fund then 48% of their eligible costs.
- The overall project cost for the Sandwick Community Centre is £96,266, with LEADER contributing £45,726 (47.5%) - CDF will also fund 47.5%.