Thursday, 5 December 2019

Questions (356)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

356. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if additional funding will be allocated to the LEADER programme in County Donegal; if so, the level of funding that will be made available; when it will be made available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50687/19]

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Written answers (Question to Rural)

The allocation under the LEADER 2014-2020 Programme to the Local Action Group (LAG) in Donegal is €12.9 million. This allocation covers both project expenditure and the administration costs of the LAG.

Significant progress has been made to date in Donegal, which I welcome. The LAG has so far allocated over 64%, or €6.18 million, of its project budget to 140 applicants, leaving a further €3.44 million available to be allocated over the remainder of the programme.

I recently allocated an additional €5 million to the top 10 LAGs who were most advanced in their delivery of the LEADER programme. Each of these 10 LAGs was allocated €500,000.

The increased allocations were based on an analysis of the level of funding the LAGs had committed to projects, and the amount drawn down by these projects, as of 20 September 2019.

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the Donegal LAG was successful in this process and has received a top-up amount of €500,000, which must be allocated to projects that are approved by the LAG after 1st October 2019.

As I have previously stated, I routinely keep the performance of all LAGs under review and, in particular, the progress they are making in allocating their project funding. Based on the current indications, I am confident that all LEADER funds will be allocated by the LAGs in their respective areas by the end of the programming period.

However, if any additional funding becomes available, I will reallocate it to LAGs who have the capacity to manage the additional funding and who can demonstrate that there is a need for such funding in their areas.