Leader programme could be extended

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s economy, environment and infrastructure committee will next week be asked to agree an application to the Scottish Government to extend the LEADER programme.

The current LEADER programme will come to an end in December 2014, but the Scottish Government has confirmed that there will be a future LEADER programme for 2014-2020 and the value of this is £86million for Scotland. Dumfries and Galloway LEADER has been invited to submit a proposal to Scottish Government for a new programme covering the period 2014-2020.

Since 2002 Dumfries & Galloway LEADER has supported a total of 208 projects with grants totalling over £4.5 million

The performance of the current programme has been recognised as successful by Scottish Government resulting in additional funding allocated to Dumfries & Galloway totalling £1.5 million, over and above the original allocation of £2.85million.

If approved at committee, this ambitious bid will be submitted to the Scottish Government for approval at the end of September.

Councillor Colin Smyth, chairman of thecommittee, said: “If councillors agree, we will be looking to secure the funding we need to support and develop even more creative and innovative projects across Dumfries and Galloway.”

The meeting will be held on 9 September.