Outer Hebrides LEADER

Outer Hebrides LEADER and EMFF 2014-2020 Programme PDF Print E-mail

THE LEADER APPLICATION PROCESS

HOW TO APPLY

The section describes the process that is to be followed if you are interested in applying for Outer Hebrides LEADER funding. The Outer Hebrides LEADER team will support you throughout the process and therefore if you have any questions regarding how to apply please contact a member of the LEADER team.

 Borders Experience Project

Photograph Courtesy of the Borders Experience Project, supported by the OH LEADER 2007-2013 Programme

STAGE 1 – EXPRESSION OF INTEREST

If you are interested in applying for LEADER funding the first step is to complete an Expression of Interest Form on the Scottish Rural Network website

This form will then automatically be forwarded to the LEADER team who will check that the project, and activities, you are proposing: fits with the priorities of the Outer Hebrides LEADER and EMFF 2014-2020 Local Development Strategy, is suitable for LEADER funding, is innovative, is a new development/ activity/ product or service, is not seeking funding to refurbish or secure the continuation of an existing project/service/business and has not already commenced or delivered by another business/organisation within close proximity

A member of the Outer Hebrides LEADER team will then contact you with feedback - you may be asked to provide further information or be invited to meet in order to discuss the project further. If the project appears to fit with these basic, initial criteria for LEADER funding, you will be invited to complete a full application for funding.

Please note that completion of an Expression of Interest or being invited to submit a full application is not a guarantee of LEADER grant funding.

 

STAGE 2 – APPLICATION FOR FUNDING

Should your project progress to the application stage, you will be forwarded the official LEADER application documents for completion.

The LEADER team will be available to assist and support you throughout the application process.

IMPORTANT

To assist with completion of the application pack the LEADER officer must see at least one draft version of your application documents at least 10 days prior to the final submission deadline you are aiming for. The LEADER officer will provide initial feedback on the application and provide guidance on any sections that need amended.

You will then need to provide a signed hard copy of your application along with all supporting documentation before the deadline dates shown below. Any missing information or documentation may result in a delay to your application being processed and it being postponed to the next round. All Outer Hebrides LEADER application deadlines will lie on the last Wednesday of each month and fall into the following 2 categories:

  • Projects seeking LEADER funding of less than £75,000: decisions are fast-tracked and you will receive a funding decision in 5 weeks following the submission date.
  • Projects seeking LEADER funding of £75,000 or above: decisions are made at the next Outer Hebrides LEADER Local Action Group Meeting and you will receive a funding decision in 10 weeks following the submission date.

Click for Application deadline dates 2017

 

STAGE 3 – ASSESSMENT OF THE APPLICATION

Once you have submitted your application, the documents will be verified and reviewed by your LEADER officer and then assessed by the Outer Hebrides LEADER Local Action Group (LAG). The LAG are responsible for awarding all LEADER grant funding decisions and their assessment considers criteria such as:

  • How closely the project meets the aims of the Outer Hebrides LEADER/EMFF Programme
  • Engagement of the community in the project
  • The sustainability of the project
  • How innovative the project is
  • Displacement/competition
  • What benefits the project will bring – Return on Investment
  • The added value or additionality that the project will provide
  • Organisational / Competence of the Project Management
  • Legacy and Exit Strategy
  • Value for Money – costs are reasonable and being researched

Once the LAG has assessed the application, you will be informed of the decision immediately.

 

STAGE 4 – OFFER OF FUNDING

Successful projects will be notified in writing of their grant offer, this is likely to be in the form of a ‘conditional grant offer in principle’. This will detail the amount of LEADER grant funding that has been approved to the project and any conditions that require to be satisfied before the final grant contract is issued. Applicants will have 60 days from the date of issue of the letter to comply and respond to these conditions, failure to do so will result in the grant offer being rescinded.

Once the conditions, and evidence provided if necessary to support them, are met the final grant contract will be issued for accepting and signing. This must be returned to the LEADER office within one month of the date of issue of the contract.

Projects must not commence until the final grant contract is received back in the LEADER office. The LEADER team will inform applicants as soon as they are in receipt of the contract to officially mark the date of commencement of the project.

 

STAGE 5 – PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION AND CLAIMS

Once the project has returned the signed contract and notified of its receipt the project must commence within 3 months of this date. Evidence will be required to be provided with the first claim to show this.

The project will be required to make claims for the funding in arrears. The LEADER team will provide guidance on how to complete the claims, documentation and the evidence required.

The final 10% of the approved LEADER grant cannot be claimed until after the project has completed and submission of the final project claim.

Successful projects must also comply with all procurement and publicity requirements. Failure to do so may result in loss of the grant or some items becoming ineligible. Information on this will be provided with your grant contract.

Successful applicants must inform the LEADER team immediately if they think they will not be able to meet contract deadlines. Notification after the stated dates could result in withdrawal of the LEADER grant offer.

 

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