ORKNEY LEADER PROGRAMME 2007-13 BUSINESS PLAN ORKNEY ISLANDS LOCAL ACTION GROUP NOVEMBER 2007 Orkney LEADER Programme 2007-13 Business Plan Contents: Page Number: Section 1.0 : Introduction 1 Section 2.0 : Lessons from the Northern Isles LEADER+ Evaluation 4 Section 3.0 : Local Development Strategy 9 Section 4.0 : Activities, Target Groups and Project Categories 13 Section 5.0 : Implementation and Delivery 17 Section 6.0 : Communications and Publicity Strategy 21 Section 7.0 : Financial Plan 23 Section 8.0 : Monitoring and Evaluation 25 1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 This Business Plan for Orkney LEADER 2007-13 should be read in conjunction with the Local Development Strategy for Orkney, which details what the Programme is expected to achieve and gives the rationale for its priorities. The Business Plan covers the disbursement in Orkney of both LEADER funding and Convergence funding (see Section 8). The term “LEADER Programme” should be taken to encompass both funding sources. Partnership Details 1.2 Local Action Group Name: Orkney Islands Local Action Group 1.3 Contact Details: Phyllis Harvey Orkney Islands Council School Place Kirkwall Orkney KW15 1NY Tel: 01856 873535 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 1.4 There are 21 members of the Local Action Group as follows: Name Organisation Interest / Focus Phyllis Harvey Orkney Islands Council Local Authority – EU Liaison Alan Younie Rural Payment & Rural Development Inspectorate Directorate George Baikie Scottish Agricultural College Agriculture Kenny Slater National Farmers Union Agriculture Tim Hartmann North Island Environmental Environment Barbara Robertson Voluntary Action Orkney Voluntary and Social Samantha Hill Orkney Tourism Group Tourism Industry Rosemary Seagrief Sanday Development Trust Island Development Trusts (Initiative at the Edge) Kate Townsend Eday Partnership Island Development Trusts (Initiative at the Edge) Mark Hull Orkney Renewable Energy Renewables Sector and Forum & Rousay, Egislsay Non Initiative at the Edge Island and Wyre Development Development Trust Trust Erik Firth Orkney Business Ring Agriculture Food and Drink Sector Barbara Foulkes VisitOrkney Tourism Sector Ronnie Johnson Orkney College / UHI Youth, Research etc Ken Harris-Jones NHS Orkney Health Services Eileen Linklater Orkney Islands Council Community Planning Ruth Kirkpatrick HIE Orkney Economic and Skills Development Chessa Llewellyn-White HIE Orkney Community Economic Development Malcolm Graves Orkney Islands Council Community Education Esther Pawley Scottish Natural Heritage Natural Heritage Fiona Tully Women’s Aid Orkney Women TBC Orkney Youth Parliament Youth 1.5 The following Local Action Group members also sit on the Northern Isles RPAC: Phyllis Harvey, Orkney Islands Council Chessa Llewellyn-White, HIE Orkney Alan Younie, Scottish Government 1.6 The lead agency for the Orkney Islands LEADER Programme will be Orkney Islands Council. Local Action Group Area 1.7 A map of the Orkney Islands is provided overleaf. Orkney lies off the north east coast of mainland Scotland and comprises some 70 islands, of which 18 are inhabited. Lying on latitude 59 degrees north – which is only 150 miles south of Greenland – Orkney is, at its widest, 30 miles from east to west, and at its longest, 53 miles from north to south. With a total coastline of approximately 570 miles, the islands cover an area of 974 square kilometres (376 square miles), of which the “mainland” island comprises more than half. Orkney’s total population is around 19,800, 20 people per square kilometre – which compares with 65 people per square kilometre in Scotland and 246 per square kilometre in the UK. 1.8 The Orkney LEADER Programme will cover the whole of Orkney. The datazones covering the Orkney Islands LAG area are: SO1004946 SO1004955 SO1004964 SO1004947 SO1004956 SO1004965 SO1004948 SO1004957 SO1004966 SO1004949 SO1004958 SO1004967 SO1004950 SO1004959 SO1004968 SO1004951 SO1004960 SO1004969 SO1004952 SO1004961 SO1004970 SO1004953 SO1004962 SO1004971 SO1004954 SO1004963 SO1004972 Source: Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics (www.sns.gov.uk) Map of Orkney 2.0 LESSONS FROM THE NORTHERN ISLES LEADER+ EVALUATION 2.1 The Northern Isles LEADER+ Programme 2002-06 covered both Orkney and Shetland, and the Evaluation of the Programme carried out by Steve Westbrook, Sandy Anderson and Stuart Brownlee (6 September 2007) assessed both the Programme overall and the Orkney component of the Programme. 2.2 The conclusions of the consultants and the key lessons learned from the Programme are reproduced below. The Northern Isles Programme 2.3 In both Orkney and Shetland, the LEADER+ Programme was successful in: Providing funding for a wide range of projects that broadly matched the intentions for the Programme as expressed in the Business Plan, in terms of both themes and targeted beneficiaries. Key themes were ICT, Culture and Heritage and Renewable Energy. Key beneficiaries were young people, women and micro businesses. Building capacity for the future, within particular sectors of activity and in priority geographical areas; with a focus on strengthening the skills and expertise of voluntary and not-for-profit organisations and people new to business. Attracting more match funding than had been budgeted, while achieving high additionality. Backing a number of genuinely innovative projects, often involving new technology, that in many cases could be developed further in the future. Encouraging visits to other areas as an integral aspect of projects, and bringing specialists to the islands to share their expertise. Preparing the ground for future development projects through studies, successful small-scale projects and pilot projects. Creating a significant number of both short and longer term jobs, in part through expenditures on project supplies and services within the local economies (although the Programme did not have a strong business or employment development focus per se). Building and maintaining partnerships through the Local Action Group and Local Action Teams – although the disadvantages of operating a joint Programme between Orkney and Shetland probably outweighed the advantages. 2.4 Collaborative projects within the UK and with communities or business sectors in other countries were not a strong feature of the Programme. Facilitating strong joint projects is time-intensive, however, and more activity on this front would have stretched the staff resources allocated to the Programme. Key Lessons 2.5 On the basis of their evaluation, the findings of the mid-term evaluation, the discussions held with those closely involved in managing the Programme, attending LAG and LAT meetings, and planning and implementing projects, the consultants summarised key lessons for future Programmes as follows: Programme Planning The theme “The use of new know-how and new technologies” constrained applications in Orkney, and the broader “Quality of Life” theme, when introduced, enabled local communities and interest groups to pursue their priorities, which observes the bottom-up LEADER principle. Setting detailed targets prior to receiving applications is inherently difficult and compromises the bottom-up principle. Ranges would be more appropriate. The indicative projects given in the Business Plan did not match actual projects very closely, and it is considered more useful to identify themes and already determined priorities rather than indicative projects, except where it is desirable to follow up previously supported projects. Consideration should be given to ways of transferring successful projects from previous Programmes (from Orkney and Shetland and elsewhere). To achieve bottom-up planning, as wide a range as possible of local area, sectoral and theme representatives should be brought into the process. The community portal websites developed in both areas through LEADER+, www.orkneycommunities.co.uk and www.shetlandcommunities.org, should provide an excellent promotional tool. Reviewing and adjusting the Programme at an interim stage enables new priorities and opportunities to be addressed, and the Business Plan should be updated to reflect these changes. Planning national and international collaboration in advance or early in the Programme helps good projects to be devised. One reason for the success of the LEADER+ Programme in Orkney and Shetland was that integration with the areas’ CED Programmes and other funding sources was achieved through the local Partnerships, i.e. worthwhile projects that did not fit the LEADER criteria could be directed to other sources. It will thus be important to plan the new LEADER Programme to integrate with the Community Planning Partnerships, Regional Project Assessment Committees and other delivery mechanisms of the Scotland Rural Development Programme. Similarly, integration with the delivery of the new Highlands and Islands Convergence Programme, especially through its strategic delivery bodies, HIE, UHI and the Community Planning Partnerships, will be important. The Programme budget should incorporate anticipated match funding rather than the minimum required level. Programme Management Ways should be found of involving LAG members more actively in assessing applications. Also, their responsibilities should be clarified. Staff resources should be sufficient to enable hand-holding during project implementation by relatively inexperienced project managers. Indicators (especially outputs and impacts) should be defined to reduce inconsistencies between projects. Successful applicants should be obliged to keep records that demonstrate how their projects are achieving against their own objectives and targets, but excessive and arbitrary detail on indicators should not be expected at application stage. For cost-effectiveness and because the areas have different priorities, Orkney and Shetland should have separate Programmes. The relationships that have been established, however, should be built upon through partnership projects where appropriate. Assessment of Applications Staff recommendations on projects were generally robust, and the resources deployed on project assessment should not be reduced. Additionality should be assessed particularly closely where LEADER funding is a small proportion of total project costs, and outputs should only be assigned to the LEADER element in a project (where this can meaningfully be identified). Displacement, deadweight and leakage should be explicitly considered at application stage – not only as selection criteria but also to help indicate ways in which these might be minimised in project implementation. Applications by island-wide representative bodies should demonstrate grass roots consultation. As the Programme proceeds and the budget runs down, attention should be given to the balance of approvals against the Business Plan, although relatively weak projects should not be approved simply because there has been a lack of applications on particular themes. Applicants should indicate how anticipated outputs relate to their project and how they were quantified / estimated. Monitoring and Evaluation Detailed definitions of indicators, and realistic targets once this has been done, will help greatly in effective monitoring and evaluation, and give Programme managers and applicants more confidence that monitoring data will be used. Programme officers and relevant agency staff should visit assisted projects during their implementation as far as is practical. As in the LEADER+ Programme, Business Plan targets should be adjusted as experience is gained. Targets should be challenging but achievable. Longitudinal research on the impacts of previously assisted projects would help in assessing comparable applications submitted to later Programmes, and in assessing applications that build on previous LEADER projects. 2.6 The main conclusions on the implementation of the Programme in Orkney are reproduced below. 2.7 The original theme of the Northern Isles LEADER+ Programme, “The use of new know-how and new technologies”, was not quickly taken up by community groups and Orkney was relatively slow in developing projects. Only three projects were approved in the first year and a relatively small financial commitment was made in the second year. The majority of the early applications were driven by organisations such as Orkney Enterprise and the Council. As the Programme developed, and especially with the addition of the quality of life theme, community based applications increased. 2.8 No Action 2 projects originated in Orkney, although there were a number of projects that involved joint working between Orkney and Shetland. 2.9 There was a good spread across activities, with the following particularly prevalent: Community group projects 39 Training projects 24 Heritage/environmental/interpretation projects 19 ICT/new technologies projects 18 Cultural / heritage events / projects 16 2.10 Orkney projects contributed well to the overall aim and objectives of the Business Plan, although sometimes the ICT or new technologies aspect was tenuous. The Programme enriched the socio-economic life of the islands and contributed to voluntary sector development. Without the strong umbrella community-based arts and heritage organisations that Shetland has, the contribution to innovative activity in the creative industries, culture, heritage, environment, indigenous craft industries and related rural tourism was less than in Shetland. 2.11 The outputs from Orkney projects contributed well to the overall Northern Isles Programme targets, especially in terms of target groups assisted and the number of training days. The aggregate outputs include some from projects which have reported a very high return, and the output indicators suffer from being largely undefined. The extent of the advice and/or assistance will vary considerably from project to project and a high proportion of the training days relate to one project. However, other projects are likely to have unreported outputs. This reflects inconsistency in recording and reporting outputs that is not confined to Orkney or the Northern Isles Programme. 2.12 From our knowledge of the 55 projects assisted in Orkney, and assuming that these will be reasonably successful in achieving their purposes, the consultants estimated that the Programme as a whole will have supported approximately 50 full time equivalent job years of work in Orkney, and that longer term job generation could exceed 120 full time equivalent job years; although realising some of this employment will require further agency support. 2.13 Especially in the later years of the Programme, when applications from local development trusts began to come forward, the benefits of the Programme were spread across the islands. Projects were assisted from areas such as Sanday, Westray, North Ronaldsay and Stronsay, and experience and confidence from carrying out successful projects bodes well for future LEADER programmes. 2.14 Of the 55 projects assisted, the consultants considered that: 20 were clearly bottom- up, 19 involved a significant degree of innovation, 34 received significant strategic guidance from relevant agencies, 28 have a high potential for transferability (within Orkney or in other areas) and 11 (to-date) have been mainstreamed. This represents a good commitment to the key LEADER principles, although it does reflect the fact that many of the early projects were led from the centre. 2.15 The project leaders interviewed as part of the Evaluation were enthusiastic about LEADER+ and the support they received in developing their applications. A number were anticipating that the next LEADER Programme would help them take their projects to a further stage. 3.0 LOCAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 3.1 The Orkney LEADER Programme will be informed by the Vision for Orkney set out in the recently produced Community Plan (Orkney 2020 : Our Vision): “An Orkney where we all have a place within a caring community, living in a healthy environment and supported by a thriving economy.” 3.2 The Programme will be guided by the Plan’s 6 key principles: Promoting survival Promoting sustainability Promoting equalities Working together Working with communities Working to deliver better services 3.3 The Programme will fit as appropriate with the key objectives of the Community Plan under its 8 priority themes which are listed below. (1) Health and Wellbeing Aim: A healthy and caring community with health and social care services for all who need them. Objectives: Promote health equality Make healthier lifestyle choices easier choices Shift the balance of care and raise awareness of wider influences on health and wellbeing Challenge discrimination, promote diversity and prioritise safety and support for the most vulnerable Take positive action to minimise the harmful effects of drugs, alcohol and smoking (2) Housing Aim: To ensure that everybody in Orkney has a suitable home Objectives: Maintain up-to-date information on housing demand and ensure an adequate supply of affordable housing Work towards housing that is fully accessible, above the tolerable standard, energy efficient and contributes to a high quality built environment Identify land suitable for housing development in the right locations and in sufficient quantity to meet future housing needs Assist in the regeneration of Orkney’s towns, villages, and Isles (3) Transport and Travel Aim: An effective and efficient transportation network that supports the economic vitality, community wellbeing and environmental integrity of all of Orkney Objectives: Ensure travel opportunities meet the needs of the whole community Integrate various means of travel around Orkney Increase levels of active travel Reduce traffic in sensitive areas (4) Environment Aim: A natural environment which is protected, enhanced and sustainably managed to combat climate change Objectives: Maintain good environmental quality for water, air and land Protect and enhance biological diversity in Orkney Safeguard sustainable use and management of Orkney’s natural resources Promote the waste hierarchy of reduce, reuse and recycle Promote energy efficiency and all forms of sustainable local renewable energy Raise community awareness of the natural environment and environmental issues (5) Economy Aim: Help the people and businesses of Orkney to achieve their full potential on a long term, sustainable basis Objectives: Empower Orkney’s fragile communities to develop a sustainable economic base Ensure that Orkney’s economy is fully integrated within the global economy Encourage a culture of enterprise which provides the right economic conditions for businesses to achieve dynamic and sustainable growth (6) Learning Aim: A learning culture in which everyone develops: - enthusiasm and motivation for learning - determination to reach high standards of achievement - an openness to new thinking and ideas Objectives: Ensure learning is for all Make learning about the whole person Encourage learning for life Promote learning as the shared responsibility of the whole community (7) Culture Aim: Enhanced cultural activity enabling heritage, arts and sport to grow and thrive in Orkney Objectives: The safeguarding, collecting, preserving, conserving and interpretation of Orkney’s heritage A culture which values, develops and encourages artistic excellence, innovation and participation in all art forms A community which values, develops and encourages sport and physical activity whether it be at a recreational, competitive or elite level (8) Keeping Orkney Safe Aim: A community where everyone may live, work, visit and play safely, without undue fear or risk of harm Objectives: Ensure that everyone travelling within Orkney can do so safely Reduce the incidence of accidents and ill-health caused at work, in the home and during leisure activities Ensure a co-ordinated and effective response capability to any emergency occurring or affecting our community Reduce crime, other anti-social behaviour and the effect it has on our community The LEADER Strategy 3.4 Orkney’s Local Development Strategy relates principally to the following Scottish LEADER themes: Revitalising Communities Progressive Rural Economy 3.5 The needs that will be addressed through these themes were identified through the consultation that has been undertaken for this LEADER bid and relevant consultation undertaken in recent years for other plans and initiatives, and lessons learned from previous programmes. 3.6 In summary, these priority needs are: Increase average earnings in the islands, particularly through raising the earnings of the low paid and the under-employed. This will help to keep young people in Orkney as well as raising average annual incomes closer to the national average. Reduce under-employment, which is particularly evident in agriculture, tourism and arts and crafts (all important to Orkney in terms of employment). This relates to the self employed, part-time employees and people employed seasonally and casually. Sustain, and if possible increase, population levels in fragile areas, with a focus on people of working age. Improve the age structure of the Orkney population, especially in local areas where the imbalance is particularly marked. The 15-44 age group is under- represented in Orkney, and projections anticipate an increasingly ageing population. Within this age group, young people aged 26-30 are particularly under-represented – for example having left Orkney to attend University and not returned. Improve provision for young people in both economic and social spheres. Orkney needs to keep or attract back more active and talented young people for an improved economy and to revive local communities. Increase enterprise and career prospects amongst women. Women’s involvement in agriculture has reduced, and there are limited opportunities currently in other sectors for challenging and reasonably well paid work. 4.0 ACTIVITIES, TARGET GROUPS AND PROJECT CATEGORIES 4.1 The activities that will be supported under Actions 1 and 2 of the LEADER Programme and through the Convergence Programme will focus (though not exclusively) on the following key areas of opportunity identified through the research and consultation undertaken for this Bid: Value-added production; Farm restructuring, including diversification and quality improvement initiatives; Tourism, culture and heritage projects; Renewable energy; and Creative industries 4.2 These opportunities will often be taken forward through social enterprises and collaborative projects within and between sectors. 4.3 The Orkney LAG has designated the following as target groups: Young people (aged up to 25) Young people (aged 26-30), who are under-represented in Orkney Women The lower paid (including the under-employed) Those of working age living in (or moving to) particularly fragile areas 4.4 Indicative projects are listed below first under Local Development Strategies, and secondly under Co-operation (where joint projects are developed with other areas, nationally and internationally). (1) Local Development Strategies Value-added Production Exploration of market opportunities Continued development of the Orkney brand image Pilot projects for new food products Targeted infrastructure projects to improve the quality of farm and food production Farm Diversification Development of farm buildings for creative industries space Research the commercial potential of product ideas for partnerships between farms Demonstration projects (including alternative livestock and crops, and rural tourism-related projects) Development of information pack on successful projects elsewhere Pilot willow growing for heating (involving Orkney College / SAC) Tourism, Culture & Heritage Assist groups to research, record and interpret their local heritage Training in heritage interpretation, guiding, etc Audio tours of visitor attractions Promotion of tourism as a career to school pupils Creation of paths to sites of historical or environmental interest Creation of themed trails Joint marketing initiatives between Orkney islands Innovative short-break packages Summer school initiatives Follow-up projects to studies undertaken under LEADER+, including sea angling, freshwater fishing and the cruise liner market Development of projects based on genealogy (e.g. Orkney’s links with Canada and the Hudson Bay Company) Development of new yacht berthing facilities in the islands Tourism audit of the islands Renewable Energy Initial feasibility studies for new installations Small scale experimental projects Learning journeys to areas with successful community renewables projects Creative Industries Business development support scheme for artists Partnership projects between artists Local craft centres Creation of work for new festivals and events Creation of gallery spaces in existing buildings (e.g. shops, transport terminals, hotels) Other Small Scale Industry Exploration of spin-off commercial activity potential for Orkney College Collaborations to develop new processes Development of local markets for local products Transport New community transport provision Research the potential to introduce additional ferry and other public transport provision for tourists Learning visits to see innovative island transport solutions IT Advice on e-business development Assist new businesses to develop websites Development of a data-sharing project started under LEADER+, which also includes profiles of Orkney communities Networking projects between island groups Remote access to training courses / materials (e.g. video-conferencing from learning centres at Community Schools) Webcam links between remote sites and visitor centres Portal for craft workers Amenity Health and fitness facilities in community centres Transfer of unviable public services into commercial premises Creation of space for shared community / social services Youth New youth facilities on islands Group exchange projects with other areas Visits to see successful rural youth projects in other areas Development Planning Develop sectoral strategies Assist communities in preparing Development Plans Research new project ideas that fit community Development Plan themes Visits to other areas with projects underway Development of a Community Engagement Strategy for Orkney Business Support Advisory services for youth business development Pilot co-operation projects between new / small businesses Advice on the ranges of co-operative enterprise structures and approaches Produce materials for migrant workers Secondments of staff to small businesses in priority sectors / areas Innovative childcare provision Advisory services on marketing (including direct selling and branding) Advice on how to undertake skills surveys Enterprise Development Raise profile of the self employment option amongst school pupils Support home working pilot projects College business placements Environmental Sustainability Pilot recycling projects Visits to other areas to research good practice (2) Co-operation Tourism Joint marketing with other island groups Friends Across Oceans – a proposed project aiming to provide sustainable tourism to peripheral areas and preserve the unique culture of the communities Joint marketing and event development with other traditional boat groups in Scotland and further afield (Orkney Boat Museum) Collaborative projects based on new approaches for the sustainable development of visitor centres and other heritage projects (building on the experience gained in Orkney through the CREST programme) Natural Heritage Joint projects with other areas in Britain and Europe that try new ways to enhance access to bird watching sites and interpret birdlife Cultural Heritage Archaeological project with a group in Wales Joint marketing of military heritage (First and Second World War), with other areas in the UK with significant military heritage sites such as those around Scapa Flow. These areas could include the Channel Islands and Dover. Traditional music and literature projects with Norwegian groups based on Orkney and Norway’s common Norse heritage. A music summer school, bringing together musicians from Orkney, Glasgow and Stornoway, with reciprocal visits in other years. Renewable Energy Sharing experience with community-based projects in other peripheral areas (e.g. those involved in trial projects establishing willow coppices) IT / Communications Community radio / recording training project – with an English Trust Value Added Wool project involving Lithuania – Sanday Spinners Food and drink project – follow up from learning journey to Holland under LEADER+ Environmental Sustainability Recycling Local Partnership Joint projects with Shetland, building on links made through LEADER+ Support for Communities and Other Groups 4.5 As the underlying purpose of the Programme is to promote the long term sustainability of Orkney’s rural communities, it is recognised that there will be a significant and continuing requirement for “hand holding”. This is explicitly allowed for in the Programme budget and will comprise a combination of Programme management staff time, specialist adviser time and networking between experienced and less experienced groups within Orkney. 4.6 This support will help: Communities and interest groups without development plans and proposals to produce these Development Trusts and other groups (e.g. heritage societies) to turn their aspirations into projects Groups to identify projects elsewhere from which they could learn Identify the need for training and other capacity building Groups whose projects have been approved to implement these efficiently and with a view to their legacy 4.7 Developing sustainable community facilities, in conjunction with projects funded through other Programmes (including Rural Development Contracts), will be a high priority for the Programme, to complement economic development initiatives and give the Programme’s target groups an improved quality of life as well as employment and improved employability. 5.0 IMPLEMENTATION AND DELIVERY Management Structure 5.1 The Local Action Group will comprise 21 members as listed in Section 1. It is anticipated that the Chair of the Local Action Group will be an HIE Orkney staff member. 5.2 The Local Action Group will meet at least quarterly and will be responsible for the strategic management of the Programme and for all decisions on grant applications. 5.3 As lead agency, Orkney Islands Council will be responsible for all staffing and financial matters relating to the Programme. Financial Management 5.4 This will include: Receiving payments from the Scottish Government (a LEADER Programme bank account will be opened by the Council); Receiving and paying grant claims from successful applicants; Paying staff salaries and other LAG operating costs; Maintaining financial records and controls, and submitting returns to the Scottish Government as required. 5.5 The Programme will operate under the Council’s financial regulations. The Director of Finance and Housing, for the purposes of Section 95 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, is responsible for the proper administration of the Council’s financial affairs. The Policy and Resources Committee is responsible to the Council for regulation and controlling the finances of the Council. These regulations set down the standards that the Council requires from all officers and members of the Council. 5.6 All Council officers and members will observe the highest standards of probity when dealing with the Council’s finances. 5.7 The observance of Financial Regulations is policed as follows: Responsibility 5.8 Every Committee, Sub-Committee, Member of the Council, Officer and Agent of the Council to whom these Regulations apply will observe the provisions of these Financial Regulations. It will be the duty of the Chief Executive, the Assistant Chief Executive and Service Directors to secure compliance with these Regulations, by ensuring that all employees and agents of the Council are made aware of them and their individual requirement to conform in full. Any breach of the Financial Regulations could be considered gross misconduct and may invoke subsequent disciplinary action in accordance with the Council’s approved and agreed disciplinary procedures. Breach of Regulations 5.9 Any breach of these regulations must, immediately upon discovery, be reported to the Director of Finance and Housing, who will discuss the matter with the relevant Service Director, Chief Executive and/or the Assistant Chief Executive as may be appropriate in order to determine the appropriate action to be taken. Application and Approval Procedures 5.10 Applications for grant aid will be made on a standard application form developed by the Scottish Government. The application form and guidance notes will be available in digital and hard copy formats. A monitoring form will be issued as part of the application pack. 5.11 Programme staff will check applications for eligibility and, if necessary, will contact applicants in order to seek clarification about points in the application and/or request further information. Project Prioritisation 5.12 As a general guiding principle, the Programme will be targeted at Orkney’s fragile areas (including the outer islands). Projects in Kirkwall will only be assisted if they: Serve Orkney as a whole; and/or Meet the needs of at least one of the Programme’s target groups. Selection Criteria 5.13 Staff will prepare a recommendation about each application based on the following criteria (following Scottish Government) guidance: 1. The project should contribute to at least one of the Local Development Strategy objectives; 2. The project should be based on an identified need or opportunity, with evidence of this; 3. The project should be “additional” – it could not proceed without LEADER funding (or not at the scale envisaged, or within the timescale proposed); 4. State Aid limits must not be exceeded; 5. The project should complement other activity and not displace or duplicate the work of other organisations or local businesses; 6. The project should fit the budget priorities of the Programme current at the time of application; 7. The project should benefit at least one of the target groups in the Strategy, with an indication of how many beneficiaries of different types there would be (giving the basis for these numbers); 8. There should be a viable project proposal based on need, the availability of match funding (even if this is not in place), innovation, management capacity, value for money and likely sustainability over time; 9. The way (or ways) in which the project is innovative should be demonstrated; 10. The project should show evidence of significant community support; 11. The project must meet all equal opportunities policies and regulations; 12. The project should have no (or minimal) negative environmental impact and ideally would have a positive environmental impact; 13. Applicants should show how they have drawn on relevant good practice (within Orkney or elsewhere) in drawing up the project; 14. There should potentially be wider benefits from the project, eg. ideas and approaches that can be transferred to other projects, programmes or areas; 15. The project should help to build the capacity (physical, organisational, business) of local communities or communities of interest, and create a platform for further development beyond the life of the LEADER Programme; 16. LEADER should be the most appropriate funding mechanism for the project. 5.14 Staff will prepare a paper on each application providing a project description, an evaluation of its fit with the Local Development Strategy and the above criteria, and a recommendation. Case papers will be distributed to Local Action Group members at least one week in advance of the quarterly meetings at which applications will be considered. 5.15 In addition to this quarterly meetings cycle, it will be possible in certain circumstances (e.g. to meet the deadlines of potential match funders) to distribute application papers to LAG members for decision-making by e-mail. 5.16 Orkney Islands Council, on behalf of the LAG, will issue a Grant Offer letter to successful applicants, which will include all relevant conditions and stipulate: The name and address of the applicant; The amount of grant offered; A list of eligible items of expenditure; Terms and mechanisms for repayment in event of any breach in the conditions of offer. 5.17 Successful applicants will also be sent information about grant claim procedures and deadlines. 5.18 The Grant Offer letters will be signed by authorised Orkney Islands Council staff under the Council’s delegated authority procedures. 5.19 Unsuccessful applicants will be informed of the LAG’s decision verbally, with confirmation by letter and, where appropriate, LEADER staff will explain the reasons for failure and provide advice on the merits or otherwise of re-shaping the project for re-submission, or seeking alternative funding sources. 5.20 Once a project has received LEADER grant aid, Programme staff will monitor its implementation and ensure that grant payments are made within the stipulated time periods. Monitoring will also cover keeping track of progress towards output targets. Eligibility and Funding Rates 5.21 In addition to the Local Action Group, the following are entitled to apply for grant funding: Properly constituted organisations and social enterprises; Private individuals where sponsored by public bodies, clubs and societies; Business partnerships and capital companies; Public agencies; Collaboration between groups and individuals listed above in an appropriately legally constituted form. 5.22 Scottish Government funding guidelines would be adhered to, ie. LEADER grant aid will not normally exceed 50% of total eligible costs with the exception of UK trans- regional and trans-national projects where up to 70% of total eligible costs could be funded. 5.23 The Scottish Government Grant requirements (for example, as they relate to Funding Restrictions and other issues) would be strictly followed. State Aids 5.24 The Programme Manager will ensure that all State Aid regulations are complied with. Orkney Islands Council staff will provide support and advice to the Programme on all State Aid matters. 6. COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLICITY STRATEGY Objectives 6.1 The main objectives of the Communications and Publicity Strategy will be to: Promote the work of the LAG and knowledge of the objectives of Orkney’s LEADER Strategy; Introduce the LEADER Programme to the Orkney public and improve public understanding of the Programme during its lifespan; Encourage organisations, especially those associated with or working to help the Strategy’s target groups, to make applications for LEADER assistance; Create and maintain a positive and lively profile for the LEADER Programme. Communication Tools 6.2 A range of means will be used to address the Communications and Publicity Strategy’s objectives, including: Websites; Leaflets and other print material; Press releases (and the organisation of events to help maximise the impact of press releases); Events and meetings (for the general public and target groups); Local radio and television opportunities. 6.3 The Orkney LEADER section on the Orkney community website will contain: Introductory material about LEADER; The Local Development Strategy and Business Plan; A Notice Board with details of upcoming meetings, events, etc; A list with details of all approved projects; A case history section providing snippets on the implementation and operation of assisted projects (which could include best practice examples from other LAGs); A chatroom/feedback area; Application material (application form and guidance notes); Links to other relevant websites. 6.4 Leaflets and other print material will be produced for the general promotion of LEADER and for specific promotions aimed at the Programme’s target groups. All print material and other communications tools will be badged with the official LEADER and EU logos. 6.5 Press releases will be prepared to highlight project approvals and significant milestones in project implementation, and to celebrate successful projects. Press releases will be distributed to the local and regional media. 6.6 Orkney has five local media outlets: two weekly newspapers (The Orcadian and Orkney Today), one daily newspaper (The Press & Journal), one radio station (BBC Radio Orkney) and one regional television company (STV). The Scotsman has a staff reporter based in Inverness who regularly covers issues relating to Orkney. The Herald and Daily Record also have staff in Inverness and Aberdeen who occasionally cover news stories in Orkney. 6.7 Other channels for communication with local community groups include Orkney Islands Council’s Community Council Liaison officer who is in regular contact with all of Orkney’s Community Councils, and Voluntary Action Orkney. 6.8 The Communications Programme will feature a range of events, including general public meetings and sessions focussed on particular target groups. Such events will take place throughout Orkney and will be particularly important in the initial phase of the Programme. This should both stimulate interest in LEADER and generate applications for LEADER financial assistance. 6.9 It is also planned to hold meetings (up to 3 times per year) with key target groups as the Programme proceeds. These meetings will be partly used to gather information, which will be fed into the ongoing monitoring and management of the Programme. 6.10 LEADER staff will also participate in the Scottish LEADER network, which will provide an opportunity to communicate the Orkney experience outside of Orkney. UK-wide and transnational meetings will provide similar opportunities. Communications Style and Approach 6.11 All written material (including text on the web site) will be in plain English with as little jargon as possible. 6.12 The website will be attractive, informative and user friendly, with interactive features. Website use (e.g. number of hits and pages visited) will be carefully monitored. 6.13 Local media representatives will be briefed to help create an informed and positive attitude to LEADER. Resources 6.14 Orkney LEADER staff will take responsibility for communications, with professional support and advice from OIC’s Press Officer and partner staff with press and PR experience. 7.0 FINANCIAL PLAN Convergence Funding 7.1 The EAGGF during 2000-2006 was included in the Highlands and Islands Transitional Programme and funded such schemes as ABDS and PMGS. As the 2007-2013 Programmes for the Highlands and Islands are single fund programmes, they no longer include EAGGF (now known as EAFRD); however this is the element in the overall SRDP which compensates for the exclusion of EAFRD from the main ERDF/ESF Convergence Programmes. 7.2 Due to the importance of agriculture in Orkney, Orkney secured a much higher percentage of each grant than it would have had it been allocated by population. This historic uptake of these grants will hopefully be taken into consideration in allocating funds for the Convergence element of LEADER. 7.3 Orkney proposes to use part of the Convergence fund to support the agricultural community in Orkney. How this will be executed will be better known once SRDP measures are finalised. LAG Operating Costs 7.4 The operating costs of the LAG are estimated as shown below (inclusive of inflation at 3% p.a.). The higher costs in the first year relate to gearing up, including staff recruitment. The 2013 costs include an allowance of c£20,000 for staffing and other costs that would be incurred in 2014. Should these 2014 costs be greater than this, there could be an equivalent saving in 2008, depending on when the Programme starts. Match Funding 7.5 Orkney Islands Council will provide the match funding for the staffing and other administrative costs of the Programme. 7.6 Match funding for LEADER and Convergence Fund assisted projects will come from a wide range of sources, notably: Orkney Islands Council (indicatively c£900,000) HIE Orkney (indicatively c£600,000) Scottish Natural Heritage (indicatively c£250,000) Historic Scotland Highlands and Islands Community Energy Company Lottery Funds – principally The Big Lottery and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and Awards for All for small scale projects (indicatively £900,000 in total) Hi Trans RSPB and other natural heritage-related groups Business contributions Charitable funding (from sources such as the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and the Tudor Trust) Donations from large local businesses such as Talisman Energy, operators of the Flotta oil terminal 7.7 Where potential financial contributions are given above, these are indicative and based on budgets that the relevant agencies consider that they are likely to have available for qualifying projects, past experience, and potential commitments (e.g. Lottery funding towards Scapa Flow projects through the Landscape Partnership Scheme as noted in the Local Development Strategy). 7.8 All non public sector applicants will be expected to fund a minimum of 5% from non- public sector sources (which could include the value of voluntary time). Schemes 7.9 Where appropriate, schemes may be considered by the LAG as a means of disbursing funding for particular types of project and promoting applications. For example, two potential schemes will be considered initially: (i) A small grants scheme – based on the Cairngorms LEADER+ Programme Small Grants Scheme, which enabled applicants to access a fund for small projects if they met the scheme’s criteria through a simplified application process and without the need to seek match funding separately from a range of other sources. (ii) A farm entrants scheme that would dovetail with assistance provided through Rural Development Contracts. It is envisaged that top-up funding might be provided for specific additional outcomes through the Scottish Agricultural College. 8.0 MONITORING AND EVALUATION General 8.1 Good monitoring and evaluation are at the heart of efficient and effective Programme implementation, and important also in transferring knowledge on projects and ideas between communities and potential applicants. 8.2 A Monitoring and Evaluation Framework will be established at the outset of the Orkney LEADER Programme. The Framework will be consistent with Annex 9 Monitoring and Evaluation from the LEADER 2007-13 Guidance Notes prepared by the Scottish Executive. 8.3 Monitoring will be based on financial and other records maintained by the Programme team, and information on implementation, performance and impact collected from assisted projects via the application form, feedback forms (covering activities, outputs, outcomes and information to aid impact assessment) and other mechanisms. 8.4 Orkney’s Monitoring and Evaluation Framework will be constructed using the following hierarchy: Inputs: The actual resources (financial and human) committed to the project, which could differ from the approval) Activities: What was delivered, e.g. number of training courses held Outputs: The physical outputs, e.g. number of people who participated in training courses Results: The immediate outcome from a project, e.g. the number of people who completed a training course successfully Outcomes: The next stage of benefit, e.g. the number of people who gain employment through their training qualification Impacts: The overall net impact of a project, taking into account additionality, displacement and multiplier effects, e.g. the net additional employment in Orkney that would not have occurred without the project. Impacts increase the longer the time period over which they are assessed. 8.5 Monitoring reports will be produced quarterly and annually. Financial expenditure by Action and Year will be carefully tracked. This information will be used to inform both the day-to-day and strategic management of the Programme. Impacts, Activities, Outputs and Results will be tracked regularly, but Outcomes and Impacts will generally only be possible to assess through detailed evaluations. These will be evaluations of the Programme as a whole and will include separate evaluations of major projects and a sample of representative smaller scale projects, tracking their benefits from outputs through to net medium term impacts. 8.6 This monitoring material will provide the basis for regular reports to the Scottish Government, and will also provide the type of information required by EC auditors. 8.7 The following will also be monitored: Media coverage of the Programme and assisted projects; Local perceptions and attitudes towards the Programme. This will be tracked through a programme of periodic local meetings and focus groups (both involving Orkney’s general population and the Programme’s target groups). 8.8 The impacts of the Programme will be assessed through a Mid-Term Evaluation in 2010 and a Final Evaluation in 2013. Both of these evaluations will be carried out by independent contractors. A budget allocation has been made for this work. 8.9 The findings of the Mid-Term Evaluation will enable effective strategic management of the Programme, and will allow issues such as financial overspend/ under spend, inadequacies in Programme delivery, and constraints on Programme impact to be addressed to ensure that the overall targets for the Programme (for its whole life) are met. Indicative Indicators and Targets 8.10 Initial targets for key indicators are given below based on experience from the LEADER+, CED and other programmes in the recent past, and assuming that the funding applied for through this Bid is received in full. 8.11 These indicators and targets will be adjusted: Through feedback from the Scottish Government on this Bid – including the actual LEADER and Convergence funding allocated to Orkney, advice on indicator definitions, and notification of indicators for which information will require to be collected systematically across rural Scotland (with definitions). Through early operational experience. Once the new Programme has been promoted widely and applications begin to be submitted, the likely uptake of funding by category of project over at least the first two years of Programme operation will become clearer. In the light of the Orkney priorities set and the types of assistance likely to be provided through Rural Development Contracts, to the Community Planning Partnership through ERDF, and from other emerging funding programmes. The Business Plan will be comprehensively revised once the scope and funding priorities of these other programmes have been finalised, e.g. in mid 2008. In response to the findings and recommendations of the Mid Term Review of the Programme. 8.12 It is emphasised, however, that LEADER is essentially a bottom-up programme that will reflect communities’ and sectoral priorities as these evolve over the six year period, and will need to respond to issues and opportunities that arise. The LAG would not wish, therefore, to be target-driven; although it will be important to monitor success in assisting the Programme’s target groups and in taking forward the main themes of the Programme. The indicators and targets will, therefore, be used as operational benchmarks and refined and revised as the Programme progresses (at least annually). 8.13 Baselines are given below where existing data permits. Other baselines for relevant indicators will be quantified in the early stages of the Programme – through commissioned surveys and analysis in some cases. (1) Target Groups 6 Year Baseline Indicator Initial Target (Number of People in Target Group) Young people (aged up to 25) assisted 1,500 2,600 (est) Young people (aged 26-30) assisted 375 500 (est) Women assisted 1,000 4,975 Lower paid / under-employed assisted to increase their income 125 750 (est) Working age people assisted who live in or move to particularly fragile areas 250 1,500 (est) 8.14 For a member of a target group to qualify as “assisted”, they should have benefited in a significant way. Records will be kept of target group beneficiaries by category of project (see (2) below). It will not be possible to track how many times particular individuals will benefit through different projects, but Programme monitoring and project approval criteria will ensure a high penetration rate of each target group across Orkney to maximise the number of different people who benefit from the Programme. There are overlaps between the indicators given above, i.e. an individual will often fall into more than one target group. (2) Activities Activity Indicators Initial 6 Year Target Value-added projects 20 Farms restructured 15 Tourism projects 30 Cultural projects 25 Heritage projects 25 Renewable energy projects 15 Creative industries projects 20 Transport projects 7 Other community enterprise 15 projects Feasibility studies 20 Market research studies 15 Trial projects 12 Promotional projects 10 These areas will be defined for the purposes of quantifying this indicator. Other development projects 15 Enterprise development projects 12 Training projects 20 Business support projects 7 Youth projects 20 Amenity projects 20 Environmental sustainability 10 projects Development planning projects 15 Other projects 15 363 Output Indicators Number of businesses given advice 150 Number of community enterprises 15 started Number of other new enterprises 20 Number of person training days 2,500 Number of community activities 100 generated or enhanced Number of communities 20 participating in projects Number of childcare places 50 provided Number of exchanges with other 12 areas Length of path network created / 20 km improved Number of new community 4 transport services Jobs created – on farm 15 fte’s Jobs created – off farm 55 fte’s Training course completions 1,000 New products or processes 40 developed Best practice models transferred 20 Number of communities with improved capacity 15 Outcome & Impact Indicators Net jobs created (fte job years) 200 Population retained / increased 500 Business turnover increased (over £4 million 5 years) Additional tourists attracted to 500 p.a. Orkney (by 2013) Additional tourist trips to islands 1,000 p.a. and other fragile areas (existing (by 2013) and new Orkney visitors) 8.15 The targets above are considered achievable over the six year period, aided by: Assistance that the three project staff will provide to applicants The advanced stage of local area development plans, with many projects “ready to go” Projects to which LEADER can add value that will emerge from initiatives such as the Scapa Flow Landscape Development Scheme 8.16 Small projects assisted through schemes or umbrella projects are included in the targets. Particular projects could count towards a number of activity and output indicators. 8.17 Over the six year period, some groups with successful projects will submit follow-up projects that will build on their initial projects and promote long term sustainability. A balance will be maintained between such follow-up projects and the intention to spread the benefits of the LEADER Programme across all priority areas within Orkney and to maximise the number of people in the target groups whom the Programme will help. 8.18 All indicators will be defined prior to the start of the Programme to enable useful monitoring data to be gathered. For example, a “new enterprise” could be a collaborative venture or a farm diversification project. 8.19 Programme evaluations will also assess the qualitative impacts from assisted projects in aggregate – including aspects such as improvements in quality of life, community confidence, business prospects, and the increase in strength of particular sectors.
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