Leader grants awarded to projects in rural Tayside

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Grants amounting to nearly £85,000 have been awarded by the Rural Tayside LEADER Local Action Group to four projects in Rural Tayside.

LEADER is part of the Scottish Rural development programme and focuses on supporting small scale, innovative community driven projects that tackle local development objectives and benefit the community. The programme is funded by the Scottish Government and the European Commission. Match funding comes from the public and private sector and community groups.

The projects set to benefit are the restoration of Inglis Memorial historic Library in Edzell; establishment of a book festival in Blairgowrie and the Glens; summer tourist bus service in Breadalbane; and bridge construction at Glen Tarken Burn, near St Fillans.

These latest funds bring the total grant awarded to over £2,580,000 and the number of projects supported to 125 since the programme started in 2008.

Angus Council were awarded a grant of £33,300 for the restoration of the Inglis Memorial historic Library, a rare and unusual example of a surviving 19th century public library that includes the Cotgreave Indicator Issue System - the original stock of 6,000 books which helped the librarian manage the lending of books, Venetian enamel mosaic and distinct stained glass windows.

The project aims to restore, develop and provide sensitive interpretation of the unique library and create a niche museum visitor attraction and an educational resource.

The library was donated to the parishes of Edzell, Lethnot and Navar and Lochlee by Lieutenant-Colonel Robert W. Inglis in 1898.

It is unique in the United Kingdom in that it is the best preserved surviving Victorian library.

Angus Council’s plans have been supported by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professional Historic Libraries Group and the Historic Libraries Forum.

Angus Council’s Convener of Neighbourhood Services, Councillor Donald Morrison said: “I’m delighted that the project to restore the historic library has been recognized by LEADER as one worthy of financial support.

“I will be discussing this offer with colleagues to consider how we can take this forward.”

Blairgowrie, Rattray & the Glens Book Festival were awarded £10,615 to establish a Book Festival in for residents and visitors to the area with an appetite for books.

Breadalbane Tourism Cooperative Ltd received £11,000 for the Ring of Breadalbane Explorer.

St Fillans Community Development Trust were awarded £30,000 to construct and install a timber truss girder bridge to span the Glen Tarken Burn and form access tracks.

The Rural Tayside LEADER programme runs until December 2013 but has now committed all available grant funds.

For more information, contact the LEADER Programme co-ordinator Rita Callander by ‘phoning 01307 473239 or visit www.ruraltaysideleader.com.