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Co-operation Projects

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What is LEADER cooperation?

Cooperation is a partnership between two or more applicants. There is no defined upper limit on the number of partners a project may have but the project must be manageable.

Co-operation projects aim to encourage innovation and collaboration between groups and countries. It is an essential element of the LEADER approach and is concerned with adding scale to projects, building relationships between people and groups in different areas and bringing them together around a common purpose.


What types of Co-operation Projects are there?

  1. Preparatory Support - Support for exploring the feasibility and development of the main Co-operation project
  2. Inter-territorial Co-operation: Scotland - Projects involving Scottish Local Action Groups (LAGs) only.
  3. Inter-territorial Co-operation: UK - Projects involving LAGs in England, Wales and/or Northern Ireland.
  4. Transnational Co-operation - Projects between territories in several Member States and/or with territories in third countries i.e. outside the EU.

Who can be a partner?

Applicants may cooperate with partners from anywhere. Partners from within the EU may be located in both rural and urban areas (subject to local rules). Partners outside the EU must be located in rural areas. They must be a group of local public and private partners in a rural territory that is implementing a strategy akin to a Local Development Strategy.


Can you cooperate with a LAG from your own region or Member State?

Yes, partnering with other LAGs from Scotland is referred to as ‘Inter-territorial Scotland Cooperation’. You can also cooperate with LAGs from other Member States, this is referred to as ‘Transnational Cooperation’.  Cooperation between LAGs from different regions of the UK is referred to as ‘Inter-territorial UK Cooperation’ as it takes place between regions of one Member State.


What are the benefits of a cooperation project?

How do you apply for a cooperation project?

The application process used is determined by the type of project. For projects with partners in just other parts of Scotland a single application is submitted to the lead applicants local LEADER Programme, supported by the LAG Funding Agreement between Scottish LAG Partners.

For Transnational and Inter-territorial UK projects, each applicant must submit an application for funding towards their element of the overall project budget to their LEADER Local Action Group. This will include any costs that are directly attributable to their area, as well as any agreed contribution to common costs (i.e. those costs which are shared out amongst the partnership e.g. cost of professional advice, publications, web development, etc.).


What is the currency of a cooperation project?

The budget for each partner LAG must be stated in their national currency. This means that applicants in Scotland must calculate their budgets in Pounds Sterling(£).  This will be noted in the Partnership Agreement.


What kind of project could you undertake?

Any project which fits within the Priorities/Measures/Schemes of your own Local Development Strategy and meets the eligibility criteria of the EU Regulations and National operating rules. 


Co-operation projects have a non-capital (revenue) focus to encourage innovation, feasibility studies and collaboration. The Outer Hebrides LEADER 2014-2020 Programme can provide substantial grant funding to support groups who would like to network and develop projects and ideas with other similar groups or organisation in Scotland, UK or further afield with the aim of exchanging ideas and learning new skills from each other.


Co-operation projects aim to encourage innovation and collaboration between groups and countries. It is an essential element of the LEADER approach and is concerned with adding scale to projects, building relationships between people and groups in different areas and bringing them together around a common purpose.


What is Preparatory Support?

If your proposal is in line with the Local Development Strategy(ies) of the different LEADER areas where the project will take place then you may wish to access support to allow you to develop your co-operation ideas. However, this is not mandatory and not all co-operation projects will require preparatory support.  You can apply to the LAG for support for application development, engagement within local stakeholders and potential co-operation partners, covering a range of costs, including:


A formal cooperation partnership should not be in place at the preparatory support application stage. Correspondence for other LAGs indicating interest in a potential cooperation project may help support the need for there to be an actual project following completion for preparatory support. Preparatory support applications are only eligible to the lead applicant to investigate the feasibility of the co-operation project and develop the activities and therefore no partners should be involved at this stage.


Whilst it is preferable that the main Co-operation project takes place, receiving preparatory support does not imply an obligation to carry out the project (for example if it proves not to be viable) and therefore the recipient of the preparatory support will not have to repay funding.  Evidence will be sought to prove the project is unviable and unfeasible and that attempts were undertaken to make the project work.


The intervention rate for preparatory support will be 100%, subject to a State Aid Assessment, up to a maximum of £5,000 per application. Reasonableness of costs must be demonstrated for all applications.


What are the previous examples of Co-operation Projects?

In the past, projects have tended to focus on capacity building, knowledge exchange and joint working with a themed focus to support the development of new activities. By way of example this has previously been in the form of site visits, events and exchange opportunities with participants from other parts of Scotland, Hungary, Finland, France, Portugal, England and Ireland to name but a few.


What are the basic Requirements of all LEADER Co-operation projects?

LEADER aims to support projects which demonstrate innovative solutions to community and economic development in the Outer Hebrides. Projects must not have started, show that they will benefit the local community, be completely different to activities already in existence and not displace other existing businesses or groups.


All projects must fit with the Outer Hebrides LEADER Local Development Strategy and show benefits to the wider community through learning new skills, knowledge or developing new products and services by learning from other groups in other areas who are offering similar activities.


What are the grant intervention rates available for Co-operation Projects?



For more information please read the Co-operation information sheet.



If you are interested in discussing a potential project please contact a LEADER officer or submit an Expression of Interest.