More than £2 million of European funds have been allocated to local projects in Moray during the current Moray LEADER programme.
Following the latest application round, seven new projects have now started, after being awarded grants totalling in excess of £500,000. These include two cooperation projects, which involve communities in Moray working in partnership with other LEADER areas.
Alastair Kennedy, Chair of the Moray Local Action Group, said: “It is fantastic to be announcing that Moray LEADER has awarded funding for another seven innovative and exciting projects. Despite a delayed start to the programme locally, reaching the full budget allocation for Moray is now in sight. During this programme, the Moray Local Action Group (LAG) have awarded in excess of £2 million in funding to boost local businesses and community organisations.
“The broad range of projects funded throughout the programme demonstrates the value of community-led local development, in helping support rural communities to overcome the challenges they face and harnessing the opportunities available to them.”
Windswept Brewing Co. received an award of £53,641.16 to develop and market a new product line, brewed using grown locally barley. Windswept will be working in cooperation with partners from a Local Action Group in Wallonia, Belgium, to attempt to create new short supply chains between brewers and grain farmers working in the same locality.
tsiMORAY have been awarded £214,369.47 towards the staffing of a new team of Community Development Officers dispersed across Moray. They will support communities throughout the area in developing community-led services and initiatives. Keep an eye on insideMORAY for more details about this project, to be released in the next few days.
The newly opened Moray Sports Centre received a funding award of £48,650.00 towards the construction of an innovative and fully accessible Inclusive Play Park. The funding will contribute towards the purchase and installation of a range of inclusive play equipment. The new park will be the first of its kind in the north of Scotland.
Moray LEADER awarded a grant of £37,233.74 to Thorabella Farm to support the purchase of a refrigerated van, shepherds hut and the development of a new website, for their innovative diversification project to create a new Portable Farm Shop.
Going Nova have been awarded £11,812.29 towards the staffing and materials costs for their new upcycling project. Their Creative Opportunities from Waste project will be creatively turning waste plastic, discarded fabric and used bicycle tyre tubes into items of beauty and value.
Moray Wellbeing Hub have received an award of £114,639.56 to expand their delivery of outreach services, creative events, and peer-support groups, to support people experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage. The funding will offer opportunities for increased partnership working with other health and wellbeing agencies operating in the Cullen & Buckie, Elgin & Lossiemouth, Forres & Kinloss, and Speyside localities.
Moray LEADER have also awarded £25,340.00 to a cooperation project involving 5 LEADER areas across Scotland. The project, Foraging Fortnight, will develop and market a new wild food festival starting this September.
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.
Stories celebrating the LEADER approach can be found on http://morayleader.org.uk/, on the Scottish Rural Network website http://www.ruralnetwork.scot/, and by using the hashtag #LEADERlegacy on social media.