On 8th July last I announced plans to distribute €5 million in additional LEADER funding. The additional funding will be distributed amongst the top 10 performing Local Action Groups (LAGs) that are most advanced in their delivery of the LEADER Programme.
The funding will be allocated to the LAGs with the highest level of project approvals and project payments relative to the budget approved in their Local Development Strategies. The successful LAGs will be selected on the basis of their combined level of project approvals and payments as at 20th September 2019. All LAGs have been notified of these criteria.
Each successful LAG will receive the same top-up amount, subject to a maximum of €500,000.
My officials are finalising their analysis of the position in each LAG area as at 20th September, and I will be announcing the successful recipients shortly.
The current LEADER programme effectively became operational in the second half of 2016, following the signing of Funding Agreements with the majority of the LAGs who deliver the programme. In determining the Local Action Group allocations at the start of the programme, a number objective criteria were used, including a minimum base-line allocation, population density and a Resource Allocation Model.
The original funding allocation to the three LAGs in County Cork was in excess of €13.9 million.