In this Section
Specific target groups have been identified:
- Young People (14-25)
- The Under-Employed
- Yound Adults (up to 34)
- Older People (over 65)
- Migrant Workers
The needs and aspirations of young people in the 14 to 25 age range were central to a large part of the previous North Highland Leader+ Programme and progress was made in involving young people and addressing the issues concerned. The new Programme will build on this progress, tackling rural disadvantage among young people across a wider area and ensuring that links are established with other programmes which target particularly vulnerable young people or those with the need for specialised support (eg. young carers).
Women in the rural areas of the Highland LAG area will be well placed to take advantage of the higher level of economic activity, in both the commercial and the voluntary sector, which the Programme is designed to stimulate. Training activities within the Programme will be designed to be accessible to women with family obligations.
Many people living in the Highland LAG area are under-employed. They will benefit from the actions to improve opportunities for young people and women in the Highland LAG area as well as from the stimulus to the social enterprise and micro-business sectors. The Programme will also provide opportunities eg for crofters and address new approaches to the development of rural skills and will encourage more openings for volunteering at the local level. There should also be new opportunities to turn skills into a mechanism for earning.
Retaining and attracting young adults to the Highland LAG area is a priority within the programme. This will be approached through the Programme’s encouragement of projects which will make the area a more attractive place to live and bring up children as well as projects which offer better access to training and stimulate commercial activity and employment opportunities. Fresh opportunities should also be created for younger adults to set up in business in their home area.
Older people can suffer disproportionately from rural deprivation, especially through poverty and isolation. They will benefit from actions to improve local facilities and access to services. Opportunities to use and develop their skills through training and volunteer programmes will also be created.
Virtually all the businesses in the Highland area come into this category, including small farms, crofts, creative industries and social economy. They will benefit in particular from action to develop new business opportunities based on the natural and cultural heritage, on music, IT and crafts, and from a better alignment between the objectives of economic development and sustainability and from the encouragement of new commercial activity in the creative sector.
Applications for funding from private businesses will need to demonstrate relevant community benefit, i.e. that the initiative is not solely beneficial to the trading or profitability of the particular business(es). Furthermore, evidence of community support for the project will be requested.