A NEW Local Action Group (LAG) has been created to manage the delivery of a Scottish Government funding programme within Dumfries and Galloway.
The Community Led Local Development (CLLD) programme gives communities the power to tackle challenges within their area. The Government has committed £11.6 million of programme funding for financial year 2023-24 across rural and island Scotland.
Dumfries and Galloway’s new LAG will manage the delivery of the fund programme locally, with over £560,000 in funding this year for revenue and capital projects.
The initial membership of the group includes Harry Harbottle (Chair), Karen Ward Boyd (Vice Chair), Susan Garnsworthy, Helen Keron, Rose Murdoch, Lara Porter, Charlotte Gibson, Lewis Shaw, James Galloway, Councillor Archie Dryburgh, Professor Nick Sparks, Will Marshall and a representative from the Economic Development department at Dumfries and Galloway Council.
The group will be inviting further members over the coming months and will include two youth representatives.
The grant fund will open for applications at the end of August, with full details being published in advance. Applications can come from Dumfries and Galloway-based charities, constituted community groups, co-operatives, public sector organisations, small and medium-sized enterprises, and community interest companies.
Harry Harbottle, Chair of the LAG, said: “In Dumfries and Galloway, we have our own distinct local challenges and opportunities. We will, through the newly established autonomous and community led Local Action Group, aim to fund projects that will bring local people together, generate ideas, and share skills to take advantage of these opportunities and address these challenges.”
He said this would take considerable support and the LAG would aim to fund projects that will mobilise communities and local enterprises to better shape their own futures through helping communities deal with the cost-of-living crisis, contribute to the transition to net zero, and increase capacity for place planning in rural areas.
“As chair, I will also be looking to work with communities, decision makers, and enterprises that are, or will become, champions of community led local development to contribute to the Scottish Rural Parliament to seek meaningful policy change with a view to maintain and enhance the quality of life of the rural populations of Dumfries and Galloway,” he added.