Thursday, 14 October 2021
Ceisteanna - Questions - Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions
I will continue to engage with the ILDN. It is always important that agencies that are delivering taxpayers’ money get an opportunity to raise their issues of concern with me directly. I do that, but my officials work with them closely. More than 4,700 projects to the total value of €198 million have been approved nationally by the local action groups since LEADER operations began in the mid-2016. Like the Deputy, I know the benefit of this funding on the ground, whether is to help businesses or communities. They give a wide range of funding and supports. We want that to continue in the new CAP programme.
The LEADER is a key plank in the delivery of Our Rural Future. The allocation of €70 million to the 2021-2022 transitional programme reflects this. Work on the design of the new LEADER programme from 2023 continues in conjunction with the stakeholders and the EU Commission. We obviously have to work within the parameters the EU lays down for this funding. I have met twice with the ILDN on a range of issues since my appointment. I will continue to keep this channel of communication open. The ILDN meets regularly with my officials.