Islanders Asked Which LAG Projects Made A Difference

economic development eco dev signThe woman sent to evaluate Scilly’s Local Action Group scheme wants to hear your views on the projects that were funded.

It’s the first time any of the LAG projects around the UK have asked for feedback using local media on what has made a difference.

Brenda Graham is on her second visit to the islands, evaluating how the £2.25m of EU-funded Rural Development Programme money has been allocated and how much impact those projects have had on the community.

The funding is coming to an end this year and the outcome could influence the way any future programmes are set up.

Brenda has been going through the LAG accounts, and visiting some of the projects that have received cash.

She says she’s looking to see whether the money has helped developed the businesses, led to increased employment or improved the quality of life for islanders.

But she says she’s not an, “Ofsted for the LAG.”

The report is will be used internally by the organisation, as well as the Council who hosts it.

And she says people apply for the money with good intentions, but personal circumstances, changes in the market, or technical hitches mean the projects sometimes can’t be delivered.

LAG has to understand why that is, and decide when they need to try to claw back the cash.

Brenda praised the work of the LAG evaluation panel, made up mainly of local volunteers. She says they’ve dedicated hours of work to the organisation and feels many of the projects have had a big impact in Scilly.

There are around 200 similar LAG schemes running across the UK, but Brenda says it’s the first one that’s been managed in Scilly.

But we could be leading the way by seeking feedback from members of the community.

We’ve listed all the successful grant applicants and what they promised to do when they applied for the cash. You can download a copy here.

Brenda wants you to see whether those projects have done what they said and she’d like you to tell her how successful they’ve been.

She says she wants to know if the concept is good, whether it’s been delivered well and if it’s good value for the community.

She’s particularly keen to hear about the impact of the infrastructure and social projects like the island community halls, which have been part-funded by LAG money.

You can send your thoughts to Brenda, before the end of September, on brendagraham@bgassociates.net.