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LEADER Programmes Funding

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 14 June 2018

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Ceisteanna (212)

Michael Collins

Ceist:

212. Deputy Michael Collins asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the steps he will take to ensure that Leader funding is not politicised (details supplied). [26020/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The decision to approve all LEADER projects is taken at a local level by the Local Action Groups (LAGs) which deliver the LEADER programme. Each LAG is representative of its local area and any decision to approve a project must be taken with a majority of non-public sector representatives present.

There are also multiple checks and balances in place within the LEADER project selection process, together with a robust evaluation process and clear selection criteria.

It is important that the general public are made aware of how LEADER money is being spent and the outcomes being achieved through EU and Exchequer funding under the LEADER programme. Once projects are formally approved, the LAGs have a role to play in publicising these projects and informing the local community about the funding provided for their area. Details of all projects approved by the LAGs are also published on the LEADER pages of my Department's website, www.drcd.gov.ie. Through these measures, the information on project approvals is widely and freely available to the general public.

More than 1,000 LEADER projects have now been approved for funding of over €29 million, with a further 340 projects with a value of €19 million at an earlier stage in the approvals process. I anticipate that approvals under the LEADER programme will continue to increase over the coming months on foot of administrative improvements which my Department has made over the last year in consultation with the LAGs.

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