I propose to take Questions Nos. 37 and 52 together.
The current LEADER programme comes to an end this year as far as new project approvals are concerned. The Programme for Government includes a commitment to prioritise a State-led programme to bridge the gap between the current LEADER programme and the next EU programme, which will not commence until 2022 at the earliest due to delays at EU level.
The objective of the Transitional Programme is to allow locally-led rural development projects to continue to be delivered using the LEADER model until the new EU programme commences.
An extra €4 million has been provided for LEADER in Budget 2021, bringing the total allocation for next year to €44 million. I can confirm that this allocation will be used to fund a combination of existing projects as they come to completion, and for new projects to be approved under the Transitional Programme. It was also provide for the administration costs of Local Action Groups in closing out the existing programme and delivering the Transitional Programme.
The details of the Transitional Programme are currently being finalized and I hope to be in a position to make an announcement shortly, outlining the details of the programme which will come into effect in 2021.