Thursday, 28 November 2019
Department of Rural and Community Development
LEADER Programmes Expenditure
249. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the amount spent to date under the 2014-20 LEADER programme by project and administration costs; the amount expended to date on project costs by each LAG; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49626/19]
LEADER is a multi-annual programme which has a total budget of €250 million over the period to 2020. It is administered by Local Action Groups (LAGs) who deliver the programme across the country.
Total expenditure on the LEADER programme since it commenced - effectively in 2016 when the majority of Funding Agreements were signed with the LAGs - amounts to over €73.4 million. This comprises:
- €1.5 million in initial costs incurred by the LAGs to develop their Local Development Strategies.
- €32.6 million in administration costs of the LAGs and the cost of their engagement with communities to generate projects.
- €39.3 million on project expenditure.
The level of project activity under the LEADER programme has increased significantly since the start of 2018. Currently, over 2,500 projects have been approved for funding of over €94.6 million. A total of 1,007 projects have been approved to date in 2019 alone.
A further 352 applications, requesting an additional €30.7 million, are at an earlier stage in the approvals process.
In addition, more than 100 Food and Co-operation projects have been approved at national level, outside of the core budget available to the LAGs.
Project payments have increased significantly in recent months as approved works have reached completion and claims have been submitted for payment. Over €39.2 million of project expenditure has been incurred to date, €26.1 million of that in 2019.
Over 1,000 or 40% of project promoters have now received a Final Payment in respect of their project application. The Programme is now delivering real and tangible results for communities right across rural Ireland and I am confident that the increased stream of project approvals by the LAGs and payment claims being submitted to my Department will continue at pace for the remainder of the programming period.
Table 1 provides a breakdown of the project payments made to date by each Local Action Group. The figures do not include payments made under the thematic schemes funded outside of the core budget allocated to each LAG.
Total LEADER Project payments by LAG as at 25 November 2019
|Local Action Group||Project Payments|