Farm Diversification Funds Still Available

LEADEROrkney Islands Council still has funds available through the LEADER scheme for farm diversification.

It amounts to £150,000 left which has not been applied for.

LEADER has come under criticism for being too cumbersome including those applying even having to employ a person whose sole task is to manage LEADER.

Despite that some Orkney businesses and organisations have been successful in applying for funds.

You can read more about that here: Success for 6 Orkney projects but evaluation of LEADER funding limited by lack of evidence

The type of projects in farm diversification which may succeed in getting funded are:

  • leisure facilities, adventure playgrounds, equine facilities
  • kennels, exhibition spaces and cafes.
  • retail spaces such as farm shops or retail outlets.
  • tourist accommodation, such as farm campsites and ‘glamping’ pods

Alison Barclay, LEADER Development Officer,  said:

“There has been fewer applications than we would have expected, which is good news for any farmers with ideas for ways to stabilise or increase income, utilising farm assets they already have such as land, buildings or equipment.

“However the fund is reaching it’s time limit – so it’s vital that farmers make contact with us as soon as possible for guidance on how to make an application.”


  • closing date for expressions of interest: 9th January 2019
  • application deadline: 14th March 2019
  • match funding deadline: 1st May 2019


OIC LEADER Team:  01856 873535 extension 2855.

Website: Orkney LEADER

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