Written answers

Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Department of Rural and Community Development

Departmental Funding

Photo of Matt CarthyMatt Carthy (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
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195. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the amount of funding allocated to the LEADER programme; the amount that was provided through Pillar 2 of the Common Agricultural Policy; the amount provided from Exchequer funds in each of the years 2007 to 2021 inclusive; the anticipated corresponding figures for 2022 to 2027 inclusive in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [60645/21]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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LEADER is a rural development programme co-funded by the EU that operates a locally-led, bottom-up approach to meeting the needs of local communities and businesses.

From 2007 to 2020, LEADER was included in the suite of measures that constituted Ireland’s Rural Development Programme (RDP). The Rural Development Programmes agreed by each Member State with the EU Commission were designed to correspond to specified Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) programming periods. The CAP programming periods in turn correspond to the EU's budgetary cycle. The Rural Development Programme will now be replaced by each Member State’s CAP Strategic Plan.

Funding under the LEADER programme is provided on a programming period basis rather than an annual basis which provides greater flexibility for managing the budget.

The LEADER allocation for the 2007 to 2013 CAP programming period was almost €400 million. This was subsequently revised in 2013, due to a downturn in the national economy, to €377m on foot of the agreement by the EU Commission of a formal amendment to the 2007-2013 RDP.

The 2014-2020 LEADER programme had a total funding allocation of €250 million.

The next CAP programming period was due to run from 2021 to 2027. However, due to delays in agreeing the required regulations at EU level, a transitional period was agreed for the years 2021 and 2022. €70m has been assigned to LEADER in this transitional period. An indicative allocation of €180m has recently being announced for the LEADER programme for the years 2023 to 2027. This means LEADER funding for the 7 year period from 2021-2027 will be maintained at the same level as 2014-2020 Programme of €250m.

The Deputy will also be aware that my Department has introduced a wide range of new funding streams for rural communities in recent years such as the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme and more. All of these programmes support rural communities across the country and very much complement the LEADER Programme.

Table 1 below details the funding allocation for each of the programming periods and a breakdown of the respective EU Commission and National Exchequer contributions.

Table 1 – Breakdown of LEADER Funding Allocations 2007 to 2027

Programming period Total Funding Allocation EU Commission Funding National Exchequer Funding
2007-2013 (Original allocation) €400m €276m €124m
2007-2013 (Revised allocation) €377m €276m €101m
2014-2020 €250m €157m €93m
2021-2022 Transitional programme €70m €51.4m €18.6m
2023-2027 €180m €77.9m €102.1m


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