Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Ceisteanna (217)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

217. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the approvals and expenditure under the Leader Programme 2014 to 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2992/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

LEADER is a multi-annual programme for the period 2014-2020 and has a total budget of €250 million over that period, including both national and EU funding. The programme is administered by Local Action Groups (LAGs) which deliver funding in accordance with Local Development Strategies that have been agreed for each LAG area.

To date 1,644 projects with a grant value of over €55.8 million have been approved for LEADER funding by the LAGs. A further 355 projects, requesting funding in excess of €22 million, are at various stages in the approvals process.  

Funding under LEADER is drawn down as projects incur expenditure and submit payment claims to my Department.  Project payments exceeding €13.6 million had been made up to 14th January 2019.

The level of project activity under the LEADER programme has increased significantly in 2018 and I am confident that the progress now being made by the LAGs in approving projects, along with the administrative improvements introduced by my Department over the last year, will result in a continued increase in project approvals and payments under the LEADER programme during 2019.