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    Moray LEADER hits target, with full budget committed

    Posted on 26 February 2020

    With the final projects commencing towards the end of 2019, the Moray LEADER programme has hit its funding target with the full budget now committed. Following the final application round in early 2019, more than £2.8 million of funding has been allocated to projects throughout Moray, during the last three years.

    The final four projects to get underway after being approved for funding by Moray LEADER, received grant awards totalling just under £0.5 million.

    Action for Children received an award of £149,274.70 for their AB56 Futures project, to create a new family support service in the former Lady Cathcart School in Buckie. Part of the project involves a complete renovation of the upper floor of the building to transform it into a modern, multi-purpose family learning centre.

    Action Marine Park were awarded £220,000.00 towards the costs of their Marine Park Pavilion project. Following their successful Community Asset Transfer of Marine Park from Moray Council, the Lossiemouth based group were awarded the funds to construct a new pavilion, for sports groups operating out of the park and the wider community.

    The Cullen Volunteer Group received a grant of £20,751.82 for their Cullen Eco-Museum project, which aims to bring smart tourism to Moray using a smart phone app and augmented reality, to turn Cullen into a walking museum. The project aims to encourage locals and visitors to engage with the history of the town using modern communications technology.

    Moray LEADER also awarded £96,062.00 to The Scottish Goat Meat Company for their Hillhead Farm Experience Breaks project. The project will transform Hillhead Farm at Glen of Newmill by Keith into a hands-on farm experience attraction with on-site luxury glamping pod accommodation.

    With the funding fully allocated, the projects now have a limited window in which to complete their activity before the Moray LEADER Programme closes at the end of December 2020.

    In reference to the full budget being committed, Moray LAG Chair, Alastair Kennedy stated:

    “Because the Moray Local Action Group (LAG) wished to form a unique set-up in Moray, with tsiMORAY taking on the role of Accountable Body, the Moray LEADER Programme was almost a year late in getting started.

    “However, the road show events and active promotion of the programme as ‘open for business’ has ensured a substantial level of interest was shown by communities across Moray, with a diverse range of project applications coming forward.

    “That diversity gave the LAG many hours of deliberation on the merits of each application and whether they met the strict LEADER criteria and could deliver against the Local Development Strategy.

    “I am delighted we are able to celebrate the fact that our allocation of funding is completely spent, and in fact, that Moray LEADER has been successful in receiving an increased budget allocation, enabling support for further projects.

    “As LAG Chair, I wish to thank LAG members for their commitment and diligence throughout the programme, which has made my role much easier. Along with a massive vote of thanks for the supportive Moray LEADER staff team, without whose dedication we would never have succeeded in achieving this position which we are now celebrating.”