Thursday, 14 October 2021
Department of Rural and Community Development
16. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the anticipated amount of funding that is expected to be provided to counties Laois and Offaly through the Leader programme in 2021. [49417/21]
The LEADER programme is one of the key interventions implemented by my Department in delivering on the Government's vision for rural Ireland as set out in Our Rural Future.
In December 2020, I allocated an initial €20 million to the Transitional LEADER Programme to support locally-led rural development in 2021. In addition, in April 2021 I announced details of an additional €50 million to cover the period 2021-2022. This funding is designed to support the continued implementation of LEADER period in the transition period leading up to the introduction of the new Common Agricultural Policy from 2023.
Of the total allocation of €70 million, €65 was allocated to the Local Action Groups (LAGs) to cover both core project expenditure and their administration and animation costs. A further €3 million of the funding was allocated to support co-operation projects between LAGs, with €2 million being allocated to provide preparatory support for the next LEADER programme. Funding opportunities under the LEADER Food Initiative also remain in place until the entirety of funds are exhausted.
All the payment claims for 2021 projects have not yet been submitted in respect of Laois and Offaly. However, I can confirm that the amount allocated to Co. Laois for the transitional period is €2.1 million and to Co. Offaly is €2.3 million. It is open to each LAG to manage this funding over the two year transitional period.
I am confident that this level of funding will be sufficient to continue operation of the LEADER Programme in both LAG areas until the commencement of the new LEADER Programme.