The Moray LEADER Programme is part financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community LEADER 2014-2020 Programme.
The Programme is overseen by a public-private partnership called the Local Action Group (LAG). The LAG is made up of representatives of the public, private and third sectors and independent members from across Moray. The Chair of the LAG is Alastair Kennedy and the Vice Chair is Dr Bea Jefferson.
The main duties of the LAG include animating and promoting the LEADER programme locally, assessing, and appraising applications, providing feedback to successful and unsuccessful applicants, and monitoring and evaluating progress. The LAG meet formally on a quarterly basis to review applications, always ensuring the links to the Local Development Strategy and LEADER key themes are sustained by the projects.
Minutes of LAG meetings can be found here.
Local Action Group Members
On graduating from Aberdeen University, Aileen joined SAC in 1988 as a Rural Development Adviser for Uist and Barra. In 1989 she changed to be a general agricultural consultant and has been in this role since moving to Elgin in 1995. She has been a Senior Consultant & Area Manager taking on office management responsibilities in addition to her consultancy since 2010. Aileen has over 29 years experience in agricultural consultancy advising on business, technical and environmental issues. She has worked with individual farmers, groups and other rural businesses, and has been involved in the setting up and running of a number of producer groups.
Gavin Clark is Operations Manager for Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) in the Tayside & Grampian Area. Gavin is a rural practice Chartered Surveyor who has worked in various roles relating to land management within SNH for 20 years. As well as a qualification in Surveying, he has a Diploma in Agriculture.
Ian Cowe is Development Officer with Forestry Commission Scotland, Grampian Conservancy. Ian's role is to promote and support the forest industry in Grampian. Ian has considerable experience of working with businesses to adopt renewable technologies, specialising in woodfuel production and supply, and in encouraging communities to make greater use of woodland. He has a wider background in operational forest management, forest design planning, and forest mensuration. He hopes that LEADER can provide funding and act as a catalyst for land-based applications that develop outdoor access in rural Moray.
Debbie was involved in the previous Moray LEADER programme 2007 – 2013. As part of this she took part in the last Transnational project with a group from Uppsala in Sweden, looking at environmental projects and how the Swedish LAG supported key food and drink initiatives local to their area. The whole experience was very useful and she learnt a great deal about the different approaches to LEADER funding and LAG development. Debbie has worked within both the private and public sector as a fundraiser, community development officer and consultant over the last 30 years. She has lived in Moray for 9 years and previously lived on an island in the Inner Hebrides before moving to Forres.
Originally a geologist and career academic at the University of Cambridge. After moving to N.E. Scotland in the early 1970s, Jana ended up working for Highlands & Islands Enterprise in local economic development, particularly skills development and learning. As a Trustee of Knockando Woolmill Trust, Chairman and later Project Leader, she was responsible for the successful planning, fund-raising and implementation of the restoration of Knockando Woolmill. Jana is a member of the Knockando community association and the Berry Burn Community Fund.
Bea has spent the majority of her career working for regional and local economic development organisations in Yorkshire. Her specialism is the monitoring and evaluation of projects and programmes. Bea holds a PhD for work evaluating policies used to support manufacturing industries in South Yorkshire. Since moving to Moray she has become actively involved in the area’s voluntary sector and is treasurer of the Forres Area Community Trust and Chair of the Moray Way Association. Bea owns and runs a tourism business in Forres.
As well as being LAG Chair, Alastair is Chairman of the Joint Community Councils of Moray. He is a skilled strategic thinker, with the ability to engage effectively with people from all walks of life and a wide range of contacts across all sectors.
Drew McFarlane-Slack joined Scottish Land & Estates in 2007 as the Highlands and Islands Regional Manager. Drew is the Chairman of the Highland Housing Alliance and Company Secretary of Lochaber Housing Association. He also serves as Chair of Duneland Ltd., a housing development company based in the Findhorn Foundation. Drew has considerable experience as a Director of the Highlands of Scotland Tourist Board, Convener of the Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service and Chairman of Lochaber Enterprise. He was the Highland Councillor for Glencoe from 1992-2007 during which time his responsibilities included Planning and Housing management and development. Drew represented Highland Council on CoSLA and in various European agencies. He lives in Ballachulish with his wife and daughter and prior to his political career was both a greengrocer and trawlerman.
Fiona is Head of Strengthening Communities, HIE Moray Area Team. She joined Highlands and Islands Enterprise in 1991, initially working in the Skills Development Team, particularly with social inclusion projects. Since 2004, she has worked in HIE’s Strengthening Communities Directorate, as a development officer in the Inner Moray Firth Team with a focus on urban regeneration, followed by a Third Sector Research & Innovation post in the Policy Team and for the last six years as Head of Strengthening Communities in the Moray Area Team with responsibility for a portfolio of 25 social enterprises, as well as representing HIE on the Moray Economic Partnership Culture & Tourism Group, Creative Scotland’s Moray Place Partnership, Moray Community Planning Officers Group and the Tomintoul & Glenlivet Landscape Partnership.
Franziska studied at Robert Gordon University. After taking early retirement from teaching, she went to work for HIE, initially working in the administration of LEADER II. From this she progressed to Development Manager in the Strengthening Communities team where she was able to assist in the development of projects large and small. Since retiring from HIE, Franziska has been involved in the purchase and development of the Covesea Lighthouse project. She has less time than I expected after retirement for family, friends, garden, walking reading and more.
Fabio has over 30 years’ experience in business and community development, management and leadership, developed through working in the private, public and third sectors since 1983. A highly motivated, dynamic person, with direct experience of economic development in a rural setting, partnership working, community engagement and capacity-building. Hands-on experience of developing and maintaining networks, and of community and organisational development, underpinned by a good understanding of a range of social policy issues, and a strong belief in the importance of social justice and community involvement. Proven ability to plan, develop, promote, secure support for, manage, monitor and evaluate a wide range of projects, including social research, public consultations, partnership development and community initiatives.
Alex Walker, Chair, Ekopia Resource Exchange, a community benefit co-operative based at Findhorn, which invests in various social enterprise projects in the area. Alex is also a consultant working in the fields of sustainability and social enterprise with interests in creating community-based enterprises for renewable energy and affordable housing projects. He lectures widely on the prospects for a low carbon economy and the philosophy of sustainability and is a board member of Development Trusts Association Scotland.
The Moray LEADER Team
Norman MacAskill has worked in the third sector for 15 years, latterly with the charity Lead Scotland and, before that, as Head of the Rural Team at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO). His previous jobs have included archaeological researcher, IT consultant and Political Organiser. Norman is a Director of Care Farming Scotland and the International Rural Network. He was brought up in the fishing village of Lochinver in the north-west Highlands.
Michelle, who has a BSc Hons degree in Applied Zoology and a diploma in Life Coaching, brings an array of skills and experience across the public, third and private sectors. She has worked in Moray for nearly 30 years, mainly in the areas of community, leisure, health provision and development, hospitality and retail. Michelle is a strong advocate of community engagement and involvement both in her professional and personal life and sits on the Moray Local Outdoor Access Forum.
Davina has worked in Moray over the last 25 years and has a diverse background in Business Management having worked both in public and private sectors. Davina brings a wealth of experience supporting teams in aspects of business, administration and financial management. In 2013, Davina successfully gained a Post Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Leadership.