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WATCH: Aberdeenshire action groups reflect on successful projects

By Kyle Ritchie

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The North and South Aberdeenshire Local Action Groups and the North East Scotland Fisheries Local Action Group have celebrated the successful projects they have supported with funding.

It comes after the closure of the 2014-2020 Community Led Local Development Programmes.

Between the North Aberdeenshire LEADER programme, the North East Scotland Fisheries Programme and the South Aberdeenshire LEADER scheme, more than £ 6.7 million has been invested in almost 100 projects throughout Aberdeenshire and coastal Angus.

LEADER funding was provided from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Scottish Government.

Supported projects contributed to key themes identified in Local Development Strategies such as connectivity, business competitiveness, the environment and people and place.

Councillor Peter Argyle, chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee, said: “LEADER has been a truly innovative rural development programme which has always aimed to improve the quality of life and economic prosperity across Aberdeenshire.

"A key aspect of the programme was its capacity to consider new innovative solutions – be it through provision of rural community services, flexible training and development programmes or environmental enhancement – and it has delivered on those fronts time after time.

“We have acted as lead partner and accountable body for the duration of these programmes, and the positive outcomes highlight what great things can be achieved across our communities and throughout local economies through partnership working with the Local Action Groups.”

The funding has helped projects on the coast and in rural areas of Aberdeenshire.
The funding has helped projects on the coast and in rural areas of Aberdeenshire.

Chairman of North Aberdeenshire Local Action Group, Duncan Leece, said: “It is important to pause at the end of this period and reflect on all of the hard work and achievements of the businesses, charities and community groups that have driven these projects to produce some truly remarkable results.”

To mark the achievements of the Local Action Groups and the projects across the region, a series of films has been produced by film company Signal Films.

Mark Turner, creative director at signal films, said: “We filmed less than a quarter of the projects supported by this crucial funding, but the variety of innovation, entrepreneurialism and generosity amongst even that small group was impressive and inspiring. The benefits to the wider community and economy speak for themselves.”

A video highlighting the work of the North Aberdeenshire Local Action Group can be viewed below:

The series of films can be viewed at: www.youtube.com/channel/UCemzoEEjVyt-3VtUfVgHqYA

Meanwhile, the Local Action Groups have recently been successful in securing a further £100,000 to pilot a Test of Change project in Ellon and Huntly later this year.

Gina Ford, chairwoman of the South Aberdeenshire Local Action Group, said: “We’re looking forward to working intensively with the communities in these towns to test different models of community-led local development, and potentially taking some of that learning forward to work across the wider region in the future.”

The South Aberdeenshire Local Action Group is also looking for additional representatives from community organisations, such as charities and community councils to be part of the group moving forward.

For more information contact salag@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

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