LEADER is part of the current Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP). It is a bottom-up method of supporting rural development through implementing Local Development Strategies. The aim of LEADER is to enhance the capacity of local rural community and business networks to build knowledge and skills and to encourage innovation and co-operation to achieve local development objectives. LEADER will deliver support of around £52m to rural areas across Scotland. More information can be found by visiting the Scottish Government Website at:
The communities of Fife have benefited from having a LEADER rural development programme since 2000. Over this time there has been a varied and interesting programme of community based projects, ranging from the development of tourist activities and attractions, through a number of community based events, to support for befriending services for isolated families.
The first LEADER Programme, operating from 2000 – 2007, provided around £750,000 of support to community groups and was added to by the LEADER in Fife Programme worth almost £1.79 million during the period 2007 – 2013. The second Programme saw the approval of 67 projects, led by 54 different applicant organisations. All of the supported projects were completed by June 2015, with the LEADER in Fife programme formally closed at that time.
Fife also benefitted from a small fisheries programme supported by the European Fisheries Fund in 2012/13. While small in scale the Fife Fisheries Programme has made a contribution to the development of two of Fife's coastal communities through successful harbour regeneration activities.
More recently the Fife LEADER Local Action Group has been working to develop a programme for the 2014 – 2020 Programme. As a result of consultation with many of Fife's rural communities the vision for the LEADER Programme (2014-2020) is: