Moray LEADER to review the Moray Local Development Strategy

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Normal MacAskill

THE MORAY LEADER Local Action Group is to review the Moray Local Development Strategy – and have launched a short consultation seeking suggestions on how it can be improved and brought up to date.

They say this is important because of the high level of interest in applying for LEADER funding, and the limited funds available for very popular priorities such as tourism.

The Local Action Group assess LEADER funding applications to make sure they fit with the local strategy and to decide which ones will be approved. The strategy has six key objectives relating to employability and social enterprise, food and drink, tourism, access to services, energy efficiency and renewable energy and supporting small businesses.

Moray LEADER Programme Manager Norman MacAskill said: “We are delighted that the level of interest in Moray LEADER has exceeded our expectations, but that also brings hard choices for the Local Action Group who decide which applications to approve.

“We want to make sure those choices are informed by a renewed and strengthened Local Development Strategy.

“The total funding available for projects is around £3million. We have already committed more than £500,000 in the first round of project applications, and we know there are dozens more in the pipeline.

“So, there is a limit to how much Moray LEADER can pay out for projects matching each of our strategic objectives. For example, we have had a dozens of enquiries about tourism projects – but the limited pot of funding available for this priority means that some applicants will be disappointed.

“We don’t anticipate making huge changes to the strategy, but we want to ensure that it reflects the needs of the Moray economy and the aspirations of Moray communities and businesses for 2018.

“We are asking everyone who is interested to go online, read the strategy and then answer a few short questions about it.”

The online consultation can be found here, or responses and suggestions can be emailed to no later than Friday 26 January 2018.