Community Led Local Development

The Scottish Government has released a new funding programme, entitled “Community Led Local Development” (CLLD), with the aim of supporting remote communities. CLLD will build on the aims of the LEADER Programme, which ended when the UK left the European Union.

The Outer Hebrides Local Action Group (LAG) was awarded £255,806 for community developments. The LAG – consisting of representatives of community organisations, businesses and the Third Sector – has developed a Community Led Vision for the financial year 2022-23. Five priorities were identified, and of these, two funds will be made available.

Design Grant launched

The first funding opportunity, a Design Grant – for which £100,000 has been set aside – was launched on Friday 18 November. The fund will support community groups and charitable organisations across the islands with professional costs to enable them to take capital projects they are planning to a stage where construction or manufacture can commence.

Research showed that a number of groups currently find themselves in a situation where they are unable to attract capital funding, as their design plans are not sufficiently finalised – and this grant is aimed to assist with this aspect.

Funding may also be accessed by qualifying groups wishing to build capacity through cooperation, developing networks or mentoring.

Applications must be submitted by midday on Monday 5th December 2022 at the latest.

Reducing Energy and Emissions Grant opening soon

A further funding opportunity, which is intended to reduce carbon emissions and fuel costs, will be announced shortly. Businesses and community groups will be able to apply for a 50% grant towards the cost of installing an “EcoPro Electrolyser” in a vehicle or vessel.

Finlay Macdonald, who installed the technology on his fishing vessel recently, with support from Business Gateway, said:

“We have been using the Ecomotus EcoPro system for one month now and the signs are really encouraging. We are using less fuel and have reduced our carbon emissions significantly. This is a win-win situation for us. Not only are we improving profitability, but we are also reducing our business’s carbon footprint at source.”

Further information about the CLLD programme and funding opportunities can be found on the Outer Hebrides CLLD website or by emailing

The Challenger, Finlay Macdonald’s vessel which had an EcoPro Electrolyser fitted and images of the installed system