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Agriculture Schemes

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 December 2021

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Questions (815)

Alan Dillon

Question:

815. Deputy Alan Dillon asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the status of her Department’s engagement with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in finalising funding for LEADER; the efforts being to maximise the budget for LEADER as part of the CAP strategic plan; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [61155/21]

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Written answers (Question to Rural)

The LEADER Programme is one of the key interventions of Our Rural Future, the Government’s Policy for rural development launched earlier this year.

An indicative budget of €180 million was recently announced for the LEADER programme for the period 2023-2027. When taken together with the €70 million already provided for 2021 and 2022 under the Transitional LEADER Programme, a total of €250 million will be made available for the 2021 - 2027 period, thus maintaining the level of funding provided for the 2014-2020 programming period. The maintenance of the €250m funding allocation will underpin the continued contribution of the LEADER approach in delivering on the Government’s vision for Rural Ireland.

Preparations for the design and delivery of the next LEADER programme from 2023-2027 are well underway. This includes an independent review of the delivery structures of the current programme, which is nearing completion. This review will draw on the experience of all stakeholders in the 2014 to 2020 LEADER programme and help to underpin effective scheme design for the new LEADER programme.

My officials are engaging with stakeholders on an ongoing basis on the design of the next LEADER programme. They are also working closely with colleagues from the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine and the EU Commission, in developing the next CAP Strategic Plan 2023-2027, which LEADER will form part of.

The ongoing engagement and consultation with stakeholders combined with the funding allocation indicated will ensure that the LEADER programme from 2023 will continue to support and further develop our rural communities and businesses.

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