LEADER is a multi-annual programme for the period 2014-2020 and has a total budget of €250 million over that period. The amount allocated to Co. Kildare under the LEADER Programme is €5.2 million. This allocation is provided for the duration of the programme, rather than on an annualised basis, to provide greater flexibility to the Local Action Group (LAG) which administers the programme. All project approvals are made by the LAG.
The Local Action Group in Co. Kildare is the Kildare Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) in partnership with Kildare County Council and Kildare County LEADER Partnership.
To-date, 21 projects with a combined grant value of over €900,000 have been approved for funding by the LAG. A further 14 projects, with a grant value of over €1 million, are at earlier stages of the approvals process.
Project payments are drawn down as approved works are completed and claims for payment are submitted by the project promoters. My Department has approved and paid claims totaling €221,422 in respect of projects in County Kildare. In addition, funding has also been provided to cover the costs of the LAG in delivering the LEADER strategy in Kildare.
I will be closely monitoring progress across all LEADER areas in the coming months to ensure that the budget available to Ireland under the programme is fully utilised.