Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Questions (507)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

507. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the extent to which LEADER programme grant aid continues to be made available to local communities directly or through the aegis of the local authorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52151/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Rural)

The LEADER Programme is delivered to local communities across the country by Local Action Groups  (LAGs) across 28 sub-regional areas in Ireland.

Under the current 2014-2020 programme, 25 of the LAGs are Local Community Development Committees.  The community-based Local Development Companies interface with local communities as the Implementing Partners for the LAGs.  The Local Authorities provide financial oversight as the Lead Financial Partners. 

In the case of the remaining 3 LEADER areas, Local Development Companies act as Local Action Groups in their own right.   

The current LEADER programme has a total budget of €250 million over the period to 2020.  €220 million of the available funding has already been allocated to the 28 LEADER sub-regional areas throughout the country. The remaining €30 million is available for schemes which will be delivered at a national level

Overall, since the programme commenced delivery in 2016 following the signing of the majority of Funding Agreements, 1,525 LEADER projects have been approved to a value of €50.5 million, while a further 370 projects with a value of over €23 million are going through the approvals process.  Based on the progress made in the last twelve months in particular in the approval of projects, I expect the level of approvals to continue to grow substantially in the coming months.