The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 10 October 2008

£3.8 million boost to rural economy in Ayrshire

RURAL economies across the whole of Ayrshire have received a massive financial boost this week, thanks to a £3.38 million award to be administered by South Ayrshire Council.

The money comes from LEADER, a European funding programme aimed at promoting economic and community development within rural areas and is delivered through a local partnership known as a Local Action Group, made up of partners from many public and private organisations.

It aims to develop rural business networks that will build knowledge, improve skills, encourage innovation and co-operation in order to positively tackle the challenges of rural living.

The Ayrshire Local Action Group will encourage small scale projects that will develop opportunities for keeping or attracting young people to rural areas or initiatives aimed at the creation of nature based projects.

Other project examples could include community organisations that need assistance with training members, rural development and giving support to the local area.

Councillor Hugh Hunter, Leader of South Ayrshire Council (pictured above) said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to drive forward a truly community centred approach to rural development across East, North and South Ayrshire.

“Administered by South Ayrshire Council, LEADER will encourage innovative and sustainable projects that will directly benefit rural communities and we have worked hard to create opportunities for those who live in rural areas. This is another sign that our commitment is bearing fruit.”

Chair of South Ayrshire Council’s Rural Panel, Alec Oattes said: “I’m delighted that rural areas are hitting the headlines with such positive news. This funding will allow small scale projects to make a valuable and sustainable difference to community development in the widest possible sense.”

Invitations to promotional events in East, North and South Ayrshire will be advertised in local papers and it is expected that a senior Scottish Government figure will launch the Ayrshire LEADER programme soon.

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