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Action group members needed for new Moray LEADER programme

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A new community and rural development fund with £3.8million in the pot will support and influence local projects and small businesses for the next six years.

Moray has been approved for the funding to operate both a 2014-2020 Leader and Fisheries Programme, with the backing of the European Union and Scottish Government.

Any project which satisfies the goals of the council’s local development strategy – aimed at improving the economy, social appeal and tourism prowess of Moray – is likely to be considered.

The huge range of possible ventures will be eligible to apply for the cash include community groups, new small businesses and schemes to improve the lives of disadvantaged people.

Businesses seeking to build local supply lines in the food and fishing industries could also benefit, along with notable or emerging destinations in Moray looking to put themselves on the map, such as areas like Spey Bay.

Jim Grant, Moray Council’s head of development services, said: “There’s very much an economic feel to it.

“There’s quite a range of things within the local development plan that could be funded or help fund projects of that nature.

“We are just at the first stage of putting together this local action group (LAG) to oversee the programme.”

Volunteers are now being recruited to join and lead the LAG, which will manage the Leader programme, from the public, private and voluntary sectors. They will be responsible for awarding financial support, developing projects and overseeing administration.

It will also link with the Fisheries LAG being formed to deliver the Fisheries programme in Moray and the Highlands.

Members are also being sought to fill a new advisory group on the Fisheries Programme for the coastal areas in Moray.

The Leader programme covers the whole of Moray, except for the area in the Cairngorms National Park.

A working group has been set up to develop the new programmes and to recruit new members.

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