Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Department of Rural and Community Development
945. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development if a breakdown for LEADER programme funding will be provided according to categories used by his Department for the period January 2015 to 2019 and to date in 2020, in tabular form; the amount of funding apportioned to women's projects; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11526/20]
LEADER is a multi-annual programme with a total budget of €250 million over the period 2014-2020. €225 million of this funding has been allocated as core funding to the 29 Local Action Groups (LAGs) that deliver the LEADER programme around the country. This funding is allocated to the LAGs for the full period of the programme rather than on an annual basis, to allow full flexibility to the LAGs.
The remaining €25 million is available for thematic schemes to be delivered at a national level and is allocated centrally as projects are approved.
Total expenditure on the LEADER 2014-2020 programme to date amounts to over €100 million. This comprises:
- €1.5 million in costs incurred by the LAGs to develop their Local Development Strategies (LDS) at the outset of the programme (preparatory support);
- €38.7 million in expenditure incurred on administration and on supporting the development of LEADER projects (administration & animation);
- €61.1 million on project expenditure (includes payments under thematic schemes).
Table 1 details the expenditure incurred in each of these categories in the period 2015 to date. It can be seen from this table that project expenditure has increased significantly in the last two years. Expenditure will continue to increase this year as further projects are completed and payment claims are received by my Department.
In total, over 3,100 projects have been approved for funding in excess of €123 million under the 2014-2020 LEADER programme. A further 450 projects requesting over €32.7 million are at various stages of the approvals process. Payments can continue to be made beyond 2020 in respect of projects approved before the end of this year.
Funding under the LEADER programme is not targeted at any particular group or sector in rural communities. It is, rather, focused on a thematic approach to rural development under the headings of Economic Development, Enterprise Development and Job Creation; Social Inclusion; and the Rural Environment. The Department does not, therefore, capture details of the amount of funding approved specifically for women's groups or other sectoral organisations.
Decisions on the nature of the projects to be supported and the funding to be awarded are solely a matter for each LAG.
Table 1: LEADER 2014-2020 Categories of expenditure broken down per year
|Year||Preparatory Support||Administration & animation||Projects||Total|
|2020 (to date)||€0.00||€ 4,093,993.86||€17,302,081.14||€21,396,075.00|