Local Area Group (LAG) members

Gary White

Organisation: Peebles CAN
Sector: Voluntary

Chair of the Local Action Group

Gary has been a member of the Scottish Borders LAG since 2014 and has recently taken the Chairs role. Gary is an independent carbon consultant working with a range of business and communities to find resilient solutions to solving our climate crisis.

Gary has been responsible in securing funding for and delivering LEADER, ERDF and CCF projects across the South of Scotland and has an interest in designing and developing funding programmes that achieve measurable improvements in the communities for which they serve.  As an Associate Lecturer in Environmental Science at the University of Aberdeen, Gary’s understanding of environmental and community issues brings a breadth and depth of experience to the LAG.

Hans Waltl

Organisation: Federation of Small Businesses
Sector: Private

Vice Chair of the Local Action Group

Hans is a Chartered Certified Accountant, representing the Federation of Small Businesses on the LAG for the new LEADER programme. He is Borders Chair and Regional Vice Chair of the FSB and works as a director for a number of companies across several sectors. He continues to work as CCA, specialising in business turnaround/growth.

Hans is involved in a number of charities and social enterprises and his position as a trustee of Borders Forest Trust along with previous experience in EU projects abroad focussing on SME growth and development give him a good deal of knowledge and insight into rural matters. In addition, as a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts he is involved in the annual Land Use Conference, which has covered issues including the environmental and economic impact of wind farms and assessed Land Use Programmes. Hans also hold the title of a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of the City of Worshipful Company of Engineers.

His wide range of interests and experience makes Hans a valuable member of our new LAG.

Annabelle Scott

Organisation: Messrs A A Scott
Sector: Private

Annabelle is a new member of the Scottish Borders LAG for the 2014-20 LEADER programme. Annabelle returned to the Scottish Borders having studied Agriculture in Edinburgh, undertaking further postgraduate training with the College of Estate Management in Surveying, and at Edinburgh University in Environmental Protection and Management. She has worked as a Chartered Surveyor in Valuation and Rural for the last ten years in both private sector and local government. Currently Annabelle works part time for Buccleuch Estates Ltd at Bowhill, Selkirk, alongside running a mixed Organic Livestock unit with her husband and raising a young family.

Heather Batsch

Organisation: The Bridge
Sector: Voluntary

The Bridge supports the growth of enterprising third sector organisations, helping them achieve their aims to benefit the community, it is a member of the Third Sector Interface for the Scottish Borders. Heather’s management role at The Bridge involves front line community development support for organisations, assisting them with legal structures, business planning, applications for grant funding and good management practice.

Heather was a member of the previous LEADER LAG and has had a range of experience on other EU and charitable grant committees. Her in depth knowledge and experience of the third sector over many years is of great benefit to the assessment of project applications.

Luke Comins

Organisation: Tweed Forum
Sector: Voluntary

Luke is an experienced LAG member having served on the previous two LEADER programme LAGs and is also a member of the A Working Countryside rural community planning partnership group. He is a long standing employee of Tweed Forum and has experience of developing and delivering partnership projects that conserve, enhance and promote the natural, built and cultural heritage of the Borders.

Luke has developed a number of successful LEADER projects during his employment at Tweed Forum, Cheviot Futures, the most recent one has been recognised at Scottish Government level as an example of best practice and used as a case study for European officials.

We are pleased to welcome Luke back to the LEADER LAG for the 2014-20 programme and his contribution is much appreciated.