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[BUDGET 1995-1999] [BUDGET 1995-1997]
Introducing Groundbase Limited :
Groundbase is part of the LEADER II European Community Initiative to aid business growth, community development and the rural economy across the whole of Dumfries and Galloway. It is a partnership between the European Union, Dumfries and Galloway Council, and Dumfries and Galloway Enterprise, and runs until the year 2000.
Groundbase's main programmes concentrate on rural and innovation initiatives. Its key is a 'bottom up' approach with grant support to a wide range of businesses, organisations, community groups and individuals throughout the Region.
Since the launch of Groundbase in September 1995, over 900 different project approvals have been made, with in excess of £ 2.3 million Sterling committed. These range from grants to new or small businesses for equipment, to local heritage groups for community based projects and events.
The Groundbase financial contributions, matched by private and other public sector monies, have allowed new investments and initiatives totalling over £ 6 million Sterling to take place within the Dumfries and Galloway economy.
Groundbase has four staff and one Skillseekers trainee who work from offices at 10-12 Arthur Street, Newton Stewart. Their role is to promote, develop and administer programmes across the rural areas of Dumfries and Galloway. "The key to our programmes and their success is direct access. Individuals, groups and organisations, from businesses to community groups can come to us direct to make applications for assistance", said Groundbase Programmes Manager David Rennie.
|Back row : Mairi Copeland - Programme Administrator, Graham Platt - Programme Executive, David Rennie - Programme Manager.
Front row : Louise Cluckie - Administrative Assistant and Skillseekers Trainee - Laura Smith.
Groundbase operates in close co-operation with other local agencies, including :-
A small team of Business Advisers are used to assist clients with the progressing of their funding applications.
Elsewhere within Dumfries and Galloway Region, business information and support services are provided by four other offices. These act as 'animateurs' to promote Groundbase programmes in their local areas :-
Groundbase is still taking applications for its support programmes during 1998 and 1999. A range of new and continuing projects are underway to assist development and provide training.
The Agenda 2000 Proposals recently published by the European Union suggests that there will be a LEADER III Community Initiative running for the years 2000 to 2006. Although many details have yet to be confirmed, Groundbase will begin preparing the groundwork for a LEADER III application and will seek the views of all interested parties.
Looking to the future, Groundbase has commissioned a number of Feasibility studies and has implemented a number of pilot projects. These will form the basis of Groundbase activity over the remainder of LEADER II. Attention is likely to be focussed on :-