Nine projects from across Aberdeenshire have received funding totalling nearly £350,000 in the latest round of grants from the Rural Aberdeenshire LEADER Programme.
LEADER is a rural development funding programme financed by the European Commission and the Scottish Government, and administered locally by the Rural Aberdeenshire Local Action Group (LAG).
The LAG committee was pleased to support the new projects in Round 15 of the programme, bringing the total Aberdeenshire LEADER funds committed to £4.3million. This has gone towards helping more than 140 projects since the programme was launched in 2008.
The LEADER programme re-opened early in April after receiving an extra allowance from the Scottish Government.
Improvement work to Strichen, Logie-Coldstone and Lonmay community halls, the construction of a new pavilion at Ardallie Football Club, a fuel management project and the creation of a junior driving school at the Grampian Transport Museum are among the successful applications in this round of funding.
In addition, the committee agreed to support plans for a heritage centre at Forgue Kirk, a skatepark in Aboyne and an arts project in Huntly which aims to establish a walking institute in the town.
Welcoming the recent awards, LAG Chairperson Belinda Miller, said: “I am delighted that Aberdeenshire LEADER is supporting a wide range of rural community projects across Aberdeenshire.
“Some of the projects are also being supported by Aberdeenshire Council, which is most welcome as this will enable these projects to proceed at an early opportunity.
“The successful Round 15 applications are helping to deliver Aberdeenshire LEADER’s strategic priorities of revitalising communities and a progressive rural economy as well as aligning with Aberdeenshire Community Planning priorities.”
Vicky Thomson, EU Rural & Fisheries Programmes Team Leader, said: “Once again, local stakeholders have brought forward innovative projects for the benefit of their communities. There is real professionalism within the groups that have thoroughly researched their projects during the application process.
“We are now getting closer to full commitment of Aberdeenshire LEADER funds. It is anticipated the next funding round will be quite competitive and those applications which are well prepared, with identified match funding and ability to be delivered in 2013 will be given priority.”
Details of all approved projects to date and information on the LEADER programme are available on the Rural Aberdeenshire LEADER website: www.aberdeenshireleader.org