Highland Marine Resources & Communities Scheme (HiMARCS)

Introduction and Background to the Scheme

The Highland Marine Resources & Communities Scheme is being put forward as a mechanism for groups/organisations/businesses etc to develop their project ideas based in some way around the marine environment. Though there are a number of development funds that exist within Highland, none are specifically geared towards enhancing the utilisation and understanding of the Marine environment.

Projects must be based around the marine/coastal environment. These could include fishing operations, research projects, marine/general tourism, educational facilities, marine heritage groups, recreational users, community groups with marine interests, training facilities etc.


To promote positive management of the natural and cultural heritage through the funding of projects that aim to instil better management, and provide a better understanding, of the areas natural built and cultural heritage.
To help businesses to develop and create jobs using the areas natural and cultural heritage.
To promote sustainability in the use of the marine environment.
To promote the development of innovative projects

The HiMaRCS is funded by Leader+, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and the Highland Council. The Highland Council is responsible for the co-ordination of the Scheme.

Applying for the Scheme

The Scheme is open to constituted community groups, charities, businesses and academic institutions. In order to qualify for the Scheme your project must be located in the Highland Council or designed to benefit communities in the area. The project should aim to meet one or more of the Scheme objectives mentioned above.

Depending upon the project rates of between 30 - 80% funding may be available for your project. This will be subject to the funding already in place and previous European grants awarded. State Aid restrictions may apply in certain cases. If you are a Trading Organisation you may need to demonstrate the level of public/EU funding received over the last 3 years. More detailed information can be obtained by contacting the Scheme Administrator.

How to Apply

Download the Application Form, together with the Guidance Notes for Completion of the Form.

What happens next?

When an application is received, it is first checked by the Scheme Administrator to see if the Application form has been completed correctly and if the applicant and the project meet the eligibility rules of the scheme.

Eligible applications will then be sent to the Assessment Panel. You will receive a letter advising you of the timescale for a decision.

Funds will be released in two rounds each year following the assessment procedure. These will be in January and June.

Dealing with a grant

A suitable bank account must be in place before you make your application. Financial assistance cannot be made into a personal account. In addition if your applications successful you will be expected to -

  • Manage properly the money you receive
  • Use it only for the purpose for which it was granted
  • Publicise that assistance has been received from the HiMaRCS with direct reference to Leader+
  • Accompany grant claims with reports on the progress of the project.

Project Selection Criteria

Your application cannot be considered unless:

  • All sections of the form are completed
  • Your application is signed in blue ink
  • All relevant permissions are in place

All applications will be scored according to the extent the project:

  • Helps meet the aims of the HiMaRCS
  • Is sustainable
  • Is supported by the community
  • Is realistic in terms of what it aims to achieve
  • Is of high quality and represent value for money
  • Is innovative or new to the area

A higher priority will be given to projects which:

  • Link together natural and cultural resources
  • Attract private sector money to the project

Annex 1

LEADER+ Priority 2 Criteria

Measure 2.1 - Positive Management of Natural and Cultural Heritage - Extent to which project:

  • Promotes the better management of the area’s heritage
  • Helps to provide a better appreciation of the area’s natural and cultural heritage.
  • Assists in meeting the objectives of local Bio-diversity Action Plans

Measure 2.2 - Business & Community Initiatives - Extent to which project:

  • Increases the knowledge and awareness of the local heritage resource
  • Helps businesses develop and create jobs using the heritage of the area
  • Helps people to establish businesses.

Measure 2.3 - Rural Skills Development - Extent to which the project:

  • Provides training for managing or interpreting the heritage resource
  • Introduces new skills to secure new employment opportunities and existing jobs
  • Will build capacity to assist sustainable community development


Highland Environment Forum

sitemap   |   design & program by plexus media