Delegation discovers fund’s benefits

Angus is this week playing host to an official delegation from Georgia, which is visiting rural business, projects and community initiatives across the county.

The delegation, which is from the Borjomi region in South Georgia, is visiting Angus to find out how rural development is being supported by the LEADER Programme, which provides access to specific EU funding, and how Angus Council delivers and supports this programme.

It is being hosted by the local authority and Councillor Paul Valentine said that the scheme has led to several significant developments in the countryside.

He said: “In Angus, LEADER funding provided a wide range of rural developments with financial support, which is helping to generate a diverse and sustainable rural economy in the local area.”

The Angus LEADER Programme is one of 21 similar LEADER programmes in Scotland. Co-ordinated by the Scottish Government, funds are overseen locally by independent Local Action Groups (LAGs), which consist of members from rural businesses and communities, supported by local authorities and other public agencies.

Ten members of the Georgian delegation are from Borjomi LAG, which the Angus LAG is helping to support through a multi-national rural development project established by Mercy Corps.

The visitors’ intinerary has included visits to Murton Community Farm, near Forfar; Kirriemuir, Edzell, Dundee and Angus College and Montrose Basin.