The project referred to in the question, the Ballroom of Romance in Glenfarne, Co. Leitrim was submitted for approval to my Department for funding in excess of €150,000, the grant amount requested was €485,349.37. The project was assessed using the relevant system and approval was given for a grant amount of €200,000.
EU State Aid rules dictate that any project which involves economic activity can only be funded to a maximum of €200,000, known as the de minimis limit. This project was considered under the Basic Services measure of the Rural Development Programme 2007-13 (RDP) which has a State Aid exemption for projects that do not involve economic activity and allows the RDP to fund such projects to a maximum grant of €500,000. The Ballroom of Romance project involves a significant level of economic activity and as such does not conform to the State Aid exemption for this measure. In this context it was not possible to approve the €485,349.37 funding requested.
The Local Development Company in this instance, Leitrim Local Development, has notified the Department of its intention to appeal this decision. When it is received the appeal will be dealt with in due course.