Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Logo (with tagline Ag Obair Còmhla Airson nan Eilean)
Lews Castle

Community Led Local Development (CLLD)

Community Led Local Development (CLLD) is administered by a Local Action Group (LAG) with funding made available by the Scottish Government. Our LAG – the Outer Hebrides Community Led Local Development Local Action Group (OH CLLD LAG) – covers the area of the Outer Hebrides.

The LAG consists of public, private and third sector representatives who use feedback from the community, expert advice and their personal knowledge and experience to prepare a local development programme, titled Community Led Vision (CLV), which is agreed with the Scottish Government before being implemented. Comhairle nan Eilean Siar acts as Accountable Body, ensuring that finance is in place and proper procedures followed, while not having any direct control over how funding is allocated.

For further information about CLLD or the 2023-24 Programme, please contact us – in Gaelic or English – by emailing

2023-24 Programme

Following on from the success of the 2022-23 programme, the Scottish Government set aside an indicative budget of £11.6m for CLLD in 2023/24. The Outer Hebrides CLLD LAG was initially awarded £267,042.38 of revenue funding and subsequently accessed a further £94,900.00 of capital. This has been allocated to the following activity:

Report Into the Role of Agriculture in Scottish Island Life Published

The Local Action Groups of the Outer Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland, along with the areas’ respective councils and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, recently commissioned Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) to research the potential impacts of upcoming changes to agricultural policy on the islands’ communities. A report entitled “Rural and Agricultural Development: Maximising the potential in the islands of Orkney, Shetland and Outer Hebrides” has now been published and the detail of the research welcomed by all involved.

The report confirms that in the three island groups agriculture accounts for a higher share of private businesses, turnover and employment per head of population compared to other areas in Scotland. It also highlights the cultural importance of crofting which goes far beyond economic benefits. The work, which was undertaken to coincide with the Agriculture and Rural Communities Bill progressing through the Scottish Government, found that, in their current form, future policy proposals present some risks for island economies, environments and communities. These potential risks are identified alongside strengths and opportunities for agriculture in the islands, such as the high number of areas that are designated as special habitats, the excellent quality and national and international reputation of local produce, and the environmentally sustainable practices in place for managing livestock.

It is hoped that the report will provide policy makers with the necessary detail to enable them to ensure future legislation suitably accounts for the islands’ unique situation. It further confirms the importance of CLLD in sustaining island communities and calls for a thorough Islands Community Impact Assessment (ICIA) to be undertaken on the combined effects of the different strands of future agricultural policy and its delivery, taking into account not only difference between island and mainland areas, but also between the three island authorities and within each area.

The research, which was led by Professor Steven Thomson from the SRUC, was funded through the Scottish Government’s Community Led Local Development Collaboration Fund, and draws on Scottish Government data, insights from farmers and crofters, and supply chain businesses, communities and stakeholders.

The full report as well as key statistics for each island group can be accessed here: Island Agriculture | Rural Exchange | SRUC

Youth LAG

Following on from the work undertaken during 2022-23, the LAG is committed to continuing its support for a Youth LAG (YLAG) aimed at young people aged 16-30. During the summer, a student placement built on work undertaken by the YLAG Facilitator in 2022-23 and helped increase and widen membership of the YLAG. The YLAG have been busy developing their own programme for the year. As well as offering a YLAG Fund, a young filmmaker will be given the opportunity to develop their skills while working on material to showcase the YLAG locally and nationally. YLAG members have also attended a number of events, such as a Youth Climate Camp and the Scottish Rural and Islands (Youth) Parliament.

Community Transport Network

Following on from a LAG-commissioned study into Rural Community Transport in 2022-23, the LAG have commissioned work towards establishing a Community Transport network in the Outer Hebrides which, as well as coordination and peer support, will offer expert input and advice on a range of relevant topics. As part of this, Driver Assessor Trainers (DATs) training will be offered locally which will enable participants to deliver MiDAS training in future.

This project strand will be delivered by the TAS Partnership in collaboration with the Community Transport Association Scotland and Lothian Community Transport Services.

Any questions should be directed to in the first instance.

The 2022-23 baseline report and its findings can be accessed below:

Design Grant

This grant scheme followed the principles of the hugely successful 2022/23 Design Grant. Successful applicants will receive up to 100% of the costs associated with the design and development stage of their project, which can include buying in expertise. CLLD funding is expected to enable successful applicants to lever in further funding towards large-scale projects with wide-reaching community benefits.

Applications to this Fund have now closed and all funding has been committed.

Small Grants Scheme

This strand will try out a new and innovative approach to awarding funding by offering small grants via a Participatory Budgeting exercise. Funding is expected to lead to immediate measurable impacts in line with CLLD and Scottish Government priorities. As well as direct impacts, it is anticipated that this strand will raise the profile of CLLD locally, get more people involved and give communities a sense of empowerment. The LAG will use this as an exercise to update their awareness of what organisations/individuals are active in our island communities, where people’s priorities lie and build on innovative ideas that might feed into future CLVs.

Applications to this Fund have now closed and all funding has been committed.

Capital Fund

This grant scheme will provide successful applicants with up to 100% of the costs for small scale capital investments. Funding is expected to lead to immediate measurable impacts in line with CLLD and Scottish Government priorities. This strand was a late addition to the 2023-24 Programme when a capital allocation became available after initially having only been given revenue funding.

Applications to this Fund have now closed and all funding has been committed.

LAG Development

The LAG intend to undertake a number of activities during the course of the 2023-24 CLV aimed at developing their expertise, processes and future capacity. This is likely to include an in-depth review and update of LAG recruitment processes and LAG membership, a review of the project scoring process, inputs from experts and partner organisations, and attending engagements and events as appropriate.