The LEADER Local Action Group (LAG) is a partnership of local stakeholder organisations.  It has responsibility for the management and delivery of the Scottish Borders LEADER Programme in line with the approved Local Development Strategy.

The members of the LAG represent a wide range of rural community groups, environmental interests, rural businesses and the public sector. Members give their time voluntarily and have agreed a group protocol which sets out how the LAG will operate.

At its meeting in November 2015 the members elected Jane Rosegrant as Chair of the Local Action Group, and Gary White as Vice-Chair.  In October 2019, Jane Rosegrant resigned from the Local Action Group and Gary White was elected the new Chair, with Hans Waltl as Vice-Chair.

Local Action Group members are listed below.

NAME: Andrew Mitchell
SECTOR: Voluntary

Having worked for Scottish Borders Council for 25 years Andrew retired in November 2014 and comes to the Scottish Borders LAG as a new member for the 2014-2020 programme.

Andrew’s accounting experience within Finance at SBC brings knowledge and understanding of EU programmes and sound financial management which will be a valuable contribution to the LAG.

Andrew is Chair of BCCF Environmental, which amongst other activities provides Landfill Community Grants to community groups and organisations across the Borders.

For the last 20 years Andrew has chaired Duns Community Council and has previously served as Chairman for Berwickshire Community Council Forum.

Name: Annabelle Scott
Organisation: Messrs A A Scott
Sector: Private

Annabelle is a new member of the Scottish Borders LAG for the 2014 – 2020 LEADER programme.

Annabelle returned to the Scottish Borders having studied Agriculture in Edinburgh, undertaking further postgraduate training with the College of Estate Management in Surveying, and at Edinburgh University in Environmental Protection and Management.  She has worked as a Chartered Surveyor in Valuation and Rural for the last ten years in both private sector and local government.  Currently Annabelle works part time for Buccleuch Estates Ltd at Bowhill, Selkirk, alongside running a mixed Organic Livestock unit with her husband and raising a young family.

NAME: Frank Beattie
ORGANISATION: Scottish Enterprise
SECTOR: Public

Scottish Enterprise has been represented on the Scottish Borders LAG for a number of years and we are pleased to welcome Frank Beattie as our SE representative for the 2014-2020 LEADER programme.

Frank brings a wealth of experience through his career in public sector, his support for projects and initiatives and working with partners in the public sector on rural development matters will be valued when assessing applications and supporting projects.

Frank has also represented SE on a number of other LEADER LAGs and Fisheries LAGs including the Scottish Borders FLAG and has provided support of the development of Local Development Strategies for LAGs across Scotland.

NAME: Gary White
SECTOR: Voluntary
Chair of the Local Action Group

Gary is a new member of the Scottish Borders LAG for the 2014-2020 LEADER programme.  Gary works as Operations Manager for Peebles CAN, a community based organisation which runs social enterprise projects building skills and capacity of young people in the town.

Having previously been responsible in securing funding for and delivering LEADER, ERDF and CCF projects and currently lecturing in Environmental Science at the University of Aberdeen, Gary’s understanding of environmental and community issues will make him a worthy addition to the LAG.

NAME: Gordon Harrison
ORGANISATION: Scottish Borders Community Councils Network
SECTOR: Voluntary

Having worked as a Customs Officer, International Trade Consultant, running his family hospitality business and latterly as the local handyman/builder, Gordon, who is now retired, is heavily involved in the Ettrick and Yarrow communities.

Representing the Community Councils Network he serves as Chair of the local hall committee, Chair of the Community Council, and is also Director of the Ettrick and Yarrow Community Development Company.

Gordon has previously managed a LEADER Rural Broadband project in the Ettrick Valley which involved upgrading the connections to homes in the area.  He is keen to support rural life and the rural economy and as such attended the first meeting of the Scottish Rural Parliament where he made connections with peers in other communities.

Gordon is welcomed as a new member to the Scottish Borders LAG for the 2014-2020 LEADER programme and his experience will be a useful contribution to the assessment and support of LEADER projects.

NAME: Hans Waltl
ORGANISATION: Federation of Small Businesses
SECTOR: Private
Vice-Chair of the Local Action Group

Hans is a Chartered Certified Accountant, representing the Federation of Small Businesses on the LAG for the new LEADER programme.  He is Borders Chair and Regional Vice Chair of the FSB and works as a director for a number of companies across several sectors.  He continues to work as CCA, specialising in business turnaround/growth.

Hans is involved in a number of charities and social enterprises and his position as a trustee of Borders Forest Trust along with previous experience in EU projects abroad focussing on SME growth and development give him a good deal of knowledge and insight into rural matters.  In addition, as a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts he is involved in the annual Land Use Conference, which has covered issues including the environmental and economic impact of wind farms and assessed Land Use Programmes.  Hans also hold the title of a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of the City of Worshipful Company of Engineers.

His wide range of interests and experience makes Hans a valuable member of our new LAG.

NAME: Heather Batsch
SECTOR: Voluntary

The Bridge supports the growth of enterprising third sector organisations, helping them achieve their aims to benefit the community; it is a member of the Third Sector Interface for the Scottish Borders. Heather’s management role at The Bridge involves front line community development support for organisations, assisting them with legal structures, business planning, applications for grant funding and good management practice.

Heather was a member of the previous LEADER LAG and has had a range of experience on other EU and charitable grant committees. Her in-depth knowledge and experience of the third sector over many years is of great benefit to the assessment of project applications.

NAME: Ian Macdonald
ORGANISATION: National Farmers Union Scotland
SECTOR: Private

Ian was a member of the previous LEADER LAG for the 2007-2013 programme and A Working Countryside group and represents NFU Scotland.  A former Director of NFU Scotland and a farmer himself, Ian is a valuable member of the LAG with first-hand experience of the issues that affect farming life in the Scottish Borders.

Within the LEADER 2014-2020 programme there is budget available for farm diversification grants, with this in mind Ian provides strong knowledge in relation to farm businesses and current issues faced by farmers and land owners.

He is also a board member with the Scottish Borders Housing Association, where his business understanding is greatly valued. A role Ian has undertaken since pre-stock transfer in 2002.

Ian is also involved in policy committees at a parliamentary level giving him the opportunity to network and keep up to date with rural affairs nationally.

NAME: Jules Horne

ORGANISATION: Creative Arts Business Network
SECTOR: Private

As a Director of Borders Creative and a member of the Creative Arts Business Network (CABN) Jules represents the creative arts sector as a new member of the LAG for the 2014-2020 programme.  She also runs Texthouse; a copy writing company providing marketing copy for Borders companies and with this business has worked in partnership with organisations across the Borders on various literary and film projects while also being involved with the development of the Cultural Strategy for the Scottish Borders.

Jules has experience with LEADER through previously funded projects and also attended the EU LEADER International Biodiversity Conference in Vienna in 2014 with the Working the Tweed project.  This trip provided an opportunity for networking and sharing of ideas which Jules will bring to the LAG.

Jules is passionate that there is an opportunity to raise the profile of LEADER in the Borders and with her contacts, networks and drive to promote the LEADER opportunity for strong projects in the Scottish Borders LEADER is pleased to welcome Jules to the LAG.

NAME: Luke Comins
SECTOR: Voluntary

Luke is an experienced LAG member having served on the previous two LEADER programme LAGs and is also a member of the A Working Countryside rural community planning partnership group.  He is a long standing employee of Tweed Forum and has experience of developing and delivering partnership projects that conserve, enhance and promote the natural, built and cultural heritage of the Borders.

Luke has developed a number of successful LEADER projects during his employment at Tweed Forum, Cheviot Futures, the most recent one has been recognised at Scottish Government level as an example of best practice and used as a case study for European officials.

We are pleased to welcome Luke back to the LEADER LAG for the 2014-2020 programme and his contribution is much appreciated.

NAME: Paula Ward
SECTOR: Public

Paula currently holds the role of Regional Director for the South of Scotland within VisitScotland.  She is involved at a strategic level developing funding partnerships and working with economic development colleagues across the region to boost the economic benefit of tourism.

Paula’s knowledge and expertise in the tourism sector are vital to the LEADER programme and her contacts across the region ensure that tourism projects funded via LEADER support regional and national ambitions.

She has been involved with both the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway LAGs in the previous programmes and provided additional mentoring for project managers on successful tourism project applications.  This commitment to the LEADER programme is appreciated and Paula’s input will be of great benefit in assessing project applications.


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