European funding business event
Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy, opened the Tyne Esk LEADER Past, Present and Future event which showcased the work done by the fund across rural Midlothian and East Lothian.
In his speech, Mr Ewing thanked the volunteers involved in LEADER projects and also praised the £131m funding LEADER has brought rural Scotland over the past 25 years and the locally based methods used to deliver the scheme.
He made mention of local projects such as The Rocketeer and Drift Coffee House in North Berwick, before discussing the Shared UK Prosperity fund which is proposed to replace EU funds. Though the details of this are not known, he concluded that cross party support for LEADER and its continuation in some form was strong.
East Lothian’s Cabinet member for Economic Development and Tourism, John McMillan, added: “Over the years the Tyne Esk LEADER project has utilised European funding to support a diverse range of local economic projects. Whilst the uncertainty of Brexit cast a slight shadow over continued future funding it was encouraging to hear of cross-party support for some alternative. It was also enjoyable to share in some East Lothian innovative projects that have benefitted from LEADER funding including a farm diversification project ‘John Muir Alpacas’.”