LEADER is a European funding programme which supports rural community and business projects. In Scotland it is delivered as part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) in partnership with Local Action Groups (LAGs).

£2.8m is available from the Scottish Borders LAG to fund projects which build community capacity, are innovative and sustainable.  There are two funds available, one for community groups and the other for rural businesses.

Interested groups should complete an Expression of Interest form online via the Scottish Rural Network.

Who can apply?

LEADER funding is available to the following groups:

  • Constituted community groups
  • Public organisations and agencies
  • Partnerships, trusts and other non-governmental organisations
  • Social enterprises
  • Collaborative business / community networks (constituted groups)
  • Rural and farm businesses - for which different eligibility rules apply

As LEADER is a rural funding programme, projects in Galashiels and Hawick need to demonstrate strong evidence of the impact to the surrounding rural communities and wider Borders.

Support available

There are two funding streams available, one for rural community groups and one for rural businesses.  The support available under each stream is as follows:

Community and Co-operation Projects funding

  • Up to 60% of total project costs for non-public sector organisations
  • Up to 50% of total project costs for public sector organisations
  • Grants are available between £5,000 - £150,000
  • Local projects in the Scottish Borders or joint projects with other EU areas are available.  Cooperation projects are subject to different rates of funding, speak to the LEADER team for further information.

Rural Business or Farm Diversification funding

  • Available to rural businesses or farm diversification projects
  • Up to 50% of total project costs
  • Grants are available between £5,000 - £50,000 or 70,000 Euros, whichever is lowest

More information on the LEADER programme in the area can be found on the Scottish Borders LEADER website.