Written Answers. - Leader Projects.

Michael Finucane

Ceist:

229 Mr. Finucane asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if he will outline the LEADER projects approved for funding; the projects for which contracts have been signed to date; the specific financial allocation which has been made for each project; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

As already announced, 16 Irish groups have been approved for funding under the LEADER programme, which is the EC's own initiative on rural development. Some £35 million is being provided for the groups — £21 million EC and £14 million Irish — between now and the end of 1993. The groups will be expected to raise a similar amount in matching funds, making a total invest ment of £70 million over the life of the programme.

The essence of LEADER is that while the group are being provided with global grants, the decisions on the investments to be undertaken rest entirely with the groups themselves. Investment in the following activities may be funded: technical support for rural development such as surveys and assessments; vocational training and assistance for recruitment; rural tourism; small firms, crafts and local services; development and marketing of local agricultural, forestry and fishery products and other activities which contribute to the development of the groups' areas.

The selected groups and their approved financial allocations are as follows:

Name

Funding (IR£m)

EC

State

Total

Inishowen Community Development Group, Inishowen, County Donegal

1.140

0.760

1.900

Meitheal Forbartha na Gaeltachta, Na Forbacha, Gaillimh

0.990

0.660

1.650

Arigna Catchment Area Community Company, Drumshanbo, County Leitrim

1.440

0.960

2.400

Cavan-Monaghan Rural Development Co-operative Society Lim- ited, Ballyhaise, County Cavan

1.500

1.000

2.500

Western Rural Development Company, Tubbercurry, County Sligo

1.500

1.000

2.500

Comhar Iorrais Teo, Belmullet, County Mayo

0.360

0.240

0.600

South West Mayo Rural Development Group, Castlebar, County Mayo

1.508

1.006

2.514

Rural Resource Development Limited, Shannon, County Clare

1.740

1.160

2.900

CRESP South Kerry Action, Cahirciveen, County Kerry

1.140

0.760

1.900

IRD Dunhallow/West Cork LEADER Limited, Cork

1.920

1.280

3.200

Ballyhoura Failte Society Limited, Kilfinane, County Limerick

0.900

0.600

1.500

Tipperary Enterprise, Clonmel, County Tipperary

1.500

1.000

2.500

Barrow-Nore-Suir Rural Development Limited, Kilkenny

1.320

0.880

2.200

Wexford Organisation for Rural Development Limited, New Ross, County Wexford

1.201

0.801

2.002

Wicklow Rural Enterprises Limited, Baltinglass, County Wicklow

1.204

0.802

2.006

Offaly County Development Team, Tullamore, County Offaly

1.440

0.960

2.400

Totals

20.803

13.869

34.672

To date, contracts have been signed with 11 of these groups. The Department has already advanced some funds to a number of the groups who should now be in a position to select projects for funding.