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Annandale & Eskdale Rural Partnership


There are 2 new funding streams for rural communities in Dumfries and Galloway. This bulletin provides a brief outline of these and further information can be obtained from the web sources or from other sources listed below. If you want your community to benefit from these resources so that you can help develop it, or improve it in some way, read on.

Dumfries and Galloway LEADER Programme 2008 – 2013

The new Dumfries and Galloway LEADER programme runs from 2008 – 2013 and all communities in Annandale and Eskdale are entitled to apply for funding. LEADER is a small grants programme and the programme is part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme. It is managed locally by a Local Action Group. Members of this group are drawn from a wide range of organisations and sectors. The Manager of the programme and her team are based in Castle Douglas.

This programme follows on from the previous LEADER Plus programme. It has been designed to address issues that were identified following a consultation that took place across Dumfries and Galloway. The themes for the LEADER programme are:

  • Assist the development of affordable housing solutions
  • Assist in the development of new transport solutions
  • Develop a diverse and dynamic business base
  • Create opportunities to improve health
  • Link communities and land together
  • Forge better links between the generations
  • Foster positive inter-cultural relationships
  • Strengthen community spirit & civic pride
  • Promote a learning and skilful region
  • Add value to local products
  • Safeguard, improve and promote habitats for wildlife
  • Demonstrate and promote a greener lifestyle

There is a two staged application process to LEADER. Initially, applicants are only expected to present their ideas in brief form, reflecting clearly one or more of the Dumfries and Galloway LEADER priorities.

The programme is structured around five national themes (see above), each has its own Thematic Scoring Group with representatives from across the region. Feedback will be provided by this group prior to your final submission to the LEADER Local Action Group. Some key things to note prior to considering submitting an application:

  • All projects must demonstrate wide community benefit.
  • LEADER can support up to 50% of eligible local project costs. Match-funding must be in place within three months of your project approval.
  • All grants are linked to applicants engaging in a wide-range of LEADER rural activities (attending networking events, exhibitions, participating in & hosting site visits)
  • The maximum level of in-kind contribution which can be included is 25%.
  • Applicants will need to collate pre-agreed information over the life-time of the project to provide evidence of activity and benefit.
  • LEADER staff will assist you to complete your final submission to the Local Action Group, help source possible match-funding and help you to gather your supporting information together.

The deadlines for project applications for LEADER funding in 2008 are:

Deadline for project applications (2 page doc) 26th June 2008
LAG Meeting 18th September 2008

Deadline for project applications (2 page doc) 17th Sept 2008
LAG Meeting 11th December 2008

For further information contact: Roslyn McNay, LEADER programme manager on Tel: 01556 504906 or
By Fax: 01556 504255 or by mail to LEADER, Community Centre, Cotton Street, Castle Douglas DG7 1AJ.

The Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP)
2007 – 2013

The second programme of funding that rural community groups can access is also part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme but is different to the LEADER Programme. This Programme is administered directly by the Scottish Government and there is no designated pot of money just for Dumfries and Galloway. Under the Rural Priorities measure of the SRDP there is money for ‘Thriving Rural Communities Priorities’ across Scotland and it is this pot of money that community groups are most likely to be interested in. There are agreed priorities for the various areas across Scotland and for Dumfries and Galloway these are:

Improved viability and well being of rural communities. Particularly proposals that:

  • Support for projects and initiatives that connect communities with opportunities for involvement in environmental and health activities
  • Support joint working projects between communities, land managers and social or environmental facilitators will be encouraged
  • Deliver a development project, local service, running a social enterprise, acquiring a modest asset or project that influences/directs others
  • Support established community organisations which seek to optimise the multipurpose utilisation of natural assets for local and wider community benefit
  • Support community based initiatives that will improve and or retain access to services for those living within rural areas particularly aimed at young people, older people, under employed, unemployed, women, micro-businesses, social enterprises and community groups
  • Make better use of existing community facilities e.g. by diversifying the use of a community building, making better use of IT technology, improving building energy efficiency.

Sustainable, resilient, rural communities, which are empowered and encouraged to take a positive role in influencing issues affecting them and their communities, through improving skills, knowledge and capacity and supporting other community led initiatives. Particularly proposals that:

  • Support capacity building especially the development of project management and business skills for established, constituted and active communities in Dumfries and Galloway with a clear geographical remit
  • Support community capacity building for community based organisations to enable them to undertake new community based projects: a new local service, establishing a new social enterprise, acquiring a modest asset (e.g. like the use of local natural assets) or a new project that influences/directs others
  • Provide support to assess feasibility, undertake investigative work or undertake business planning for new projects and in particular relating to projects and initiatives where there are opportunities for involvement that will improve the range and availability of local environmental and health related activities and opportunities; projects that will support joint working between rural communities, and between communities and land managers, social or environmental facilitators.

Any recognised community group in a rural area can apply for this funding. The community group must have a Constitution or Articles of Agreement so that it can receive funding in its own right and a bank account. A rural settlement is defined as having a population of less than 3000. 100% funding for projects can be awarded from this fund and capital and non capital costs can be supported. To apply a community group will need to have a 'Business Reference Number’. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Services can advise community groups on how to get this.

In the application you will be asked to explain how the project benefits the community. You will also need to provide evidence that you have thoroughly investigated costs and considered what is best value - for small projects (< £5000) you need to provide a minimum of one quote and for larger a minimum of two (unless there is a good reason such as only one supplier within a reasonable distance). You will need to sign a declaration confirming that this grant would be the only source of Scottish Government or European funding for the project. For information on the support and guidance available to community groups you can look at these two websites:

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations -

Rural Gateway -

Applications will be dealt with in two stages:

  • Groups will first be required to prepare a brief Statement of Intent (SoI). Feedback will then be provided on the viability of the proposal so that you can judge whether or not to develop it into a full Proposal for the second stage.
  • The Statement of Intent and Proposal forms will be available on-line through the Scottish Government website.

Guidance can also be found on the Scottish Government website

Once a proposal is submitted it will be reviewed by the Dumfries and Galloway Regional Priority Assessment Committee (RPAC) to assess its contribution to the Regional Priorities. If the RPAC is happy with the proposal it will be forwarded for consideration to the Scottish Government. Proposals can be submitted at any time.

If you have a query about any of the above contact:
Mairi Telford Jammeh,Community Planning Co-ordinator, 01387 260000 Extension 67329 or email


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