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LEADER funding for projects in Sutherland

20th February 2018

Photograph of LEADER funding for projects in Sutherland

The Embo Trust, Strathnaver Museum and Sutherland Community Sports & Recreation Hub are among projects in Sutherland set to benefit from funding from the Highland LEADER Programme.

The Sutherland Local Area Partnership has approved funding of £247,578 to date and is encouraging potential applicants to come forward for a share of the remaining funds which must be committed by early 2019.

Sutherland Community Sports & Recreation Hub has been awarded LEADER funding of £31,217 towards the development of a multi-use games area in Golspie.

John Murray, Treasurer of Sutherland Community Sports & Recreation Hub said: "Half of the old Blaize pitch was upgraded to an all-weather football pitch in 2014. This has helped to enhance Golspie as a hub destination for sports across rural east Sutherland. We've seen an increase in interest for basketball and netball, however there is currently no suitable facility to meet this demand. LEADER funding will contribute towards developing the remaining derelict ground at the pitch to provide a playing area for two basketball and netball courts."

The Embo Trust is also set to benefit from LEADER funding with an award of £30,534.

Jim McGillivray, Chair of Embo Trust said: "The Trust has secured funding to renovate the old school to create a village Community Hub with multi-purpose hall for activities and classes, community shop and outreach post office. LEADER funding will help establish a commercial cafe/restaurant unit within the new centre. As well as proving employment and training opportunities, the income generated by the cafe will be essential for the long term sustainability of operating the centre."

Also benefiting from a funding boost of £29,349 from LEADER is Strathnaver Museum.

The Museum Trust is embarking on an ambitious project to redevelop the museum as a heritage hub for north west Sutherland and LEADER funding will contribute towards the development phase.

Thomas Mackay, Chair of Strathnaver Museum Trust said: “The redevelopment of the museum will allow us to welcome more visitors; run more events and activities; and deliver additional training opportunities while continuing to protect, preserve and interpret our important collection. LEADER funding will allow us to engage an architect and quantity surveyor to develop the proposals that will be used to support funding applications for the capital works.”

Frances Gunn, Chair of the Sutherland Local Area Partnership said: LEADER aims to promote economic and community development within rural areas and these awards demonstrate the diverse range of projects that can be supported. With just over a year left to commit LEADER funds and funding allocated on a first come, first served basis, we would encourage groups to get in touch now to discuss any project ideas. The Local Area Partnership has recently increased the maximum grant available to £75,000 with applicants able to apply for up to 75% of project costs.”

For further information please visit or contact Paula Betts, LEADER Development Officer on 01463 702 275 or by emailing

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