Rural Aberdeenshire LAG Area
The Rural Aberdeenshire LEADER programme 2008-2014 is now closed
Please visit www.local-development.eu for details of the new programme.
The area covered by the Rural Aberdeenshire LAG is the Aberdeenshire local authority area minus the western part, which is covered by the Cairngorms LAG, and settlements with a population of over 5,000.
The LAG area includes a population of just under 150,000 in rural areas and settlements up to 5,000.
The Rural Aberdeenshire LAG has created a LAG footprint that encompasses rural communities across the region, from upland and rural hinterland areas in the west to the lowland and coastal areas in the north, east and south of Aberdeenshire.
The underpinning synergy of the areas across the LAG is the vision for vibrant, inclusive, rural communities, combined with sustainable environmental credentials, in terms of resource use, energy efficiency, landscape and biodiversity, against a backdrop of economically viable rural businesses and rural services.
Traditionally, the LAG area has been economically dependent upon the primary sector including agriculture, forestry and in the coastal communities, fishing. Economic activity is also generated through processing activities related to the primary sector. More recently, emphasis is being given to new opportunities through renewable energy and biomass developments, but the development of such initiatives is in its infancy.
Tourism is also important economically for communities throughout the area. For example, boat festivals in the coastal areas and highland games in the rural hinterland contribute not only to the local economy, but to the well being of the rural communities where events take place. The LAG area has strong heritage and links to cultural activities such as music, literary and creative art.
Challenges facing the social and economic fabric of the area include decline in traditional industries, access to facilities and services, distance to markets, housing pressures and rural transport.
Opportunities include diversification within rural industries, ICT technology enabling rural business development, emerging industries, such as renewable energy and a developing tourism sector. There is a real need however, to encourage more local processing of primary products to serve local communities.