Thursday, 17 December 2020
Department of Rural and Community Development
76. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development her plans to fund the delivery and administration of the LEADER programme 2021; the interim funding for 2021 to 2023 to be delivered directly by local development companies; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41628/20]
As the Deputy will be aware, due to delays at EU level, there will be a delay between the end of the current LEADER programme, which was due to conclude at the end of this year, and the next EU programme which will not now commence until 2023. The Programme for Government includes a commitment to introduce a transitional LEADER programme to bridge that gap.
Yesterday, 16th December 2020, I announced details of the Transitional LEADER Programme, which will come into effect from 1stApril 2021 for new project approvals. I also announced some flexibilities to the current LEADER programme, including extending the deadline for commitments to the end of March 2021 to facilitate the full allocation of the funds available.
I have provided an initial allocation of €20 million for the Transitional LEADER Programme, which will fund both new project applications and the administration and project animation costs of the Local Action Groups who will deliver the programme.
In addition, a further €7 million will be provided to the LAGs in 2021 for the on-going management and delivery of projects still running under the 2014-2020 LEADER programme.
I will review the funding situation for the Transitional Programme when Regulations governing the transitional period are signed at EU level and when there is clarity regarding EU funding for the transitional period.
In the meantime, my Department has written to all of the Local Action Groups, providing a detailed outline of the Transitional Programme, including their respective financial allocations.
Further details of the Transitional Programme are included in the announcement on my Department’s pages of the Gov.ie website.