At the recent Scottish Labour Party Conference in Dundee, Western Isles delegate, Donald MacKinnon took to the stage to highlight how important European Union community-led local development funding has been to the Western Isles economy and that there is an urgent need for clarity on the continuation of these funding streams post-Brexit.
Following Conference’s support of the motion, it is now Labour Party policy to advocate for the inclusion of community development funds in the proposed post-Brexit Shared Prosperity Fund.
Mr Mackinnon said: “European Union schemes such as LEADER have helped our local communities develop services, have created opportunities for young people and have enabled small businesses to start-up, become established and grow.”
Labour Parliamentary Candidate Alison MacCorquodale, added: “In the current LEADER programme alone, community groups and business from across the islands have been awarded £2.3m - enabling them to lever in a further £6m as a result.
“The current suggestion coming from the UK Government that such funding may not be included in the Shared Prosperity Fund is unthinkable for our islands.”