Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Ceisteanna (66)

Mary Lou McDonald


66. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his plans to front-load the 2012 and 2013 Leader rural development programme underspend into 2014; if he will extend the Leader funding for the EDI centre for the unemployed in Longford; his views on the future of the Leader programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44816/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Environment)

LEADER is a multi-annual programme which has regularly underspent its annual allocations since it began in 2009. My Department has therefore relied on carrying over significant amounts of unspent funding into the following year to meet upcoming commitments. This will also be the case this year. I anticipate that in the order of €50 million will become available to carry forward into 2014 to fund LEADER projects. Final decisions will be made in the wider context of the Department's overall capital allocation and will be published in the Revised Estimates later in the year.

In line with the 'bottom-up' approach to rural development the Local Development Companies (LDCs), contracted on my Department's behalf, are the principal decision makers in relation to which projects are funded under the Programme. I understand that the LDC for Longford has not received an application from the organisation referred to in the Question.