North versus South over funding

Fiona Heavey

Reporter:

Fiona Heavey

North versus South over funding

Divisions in the county over funding

It is “grossly unfair” that projects from North Leitrim must compete against those in South Leitrim for LEADER funding according to Cllr Justin Warnock.


Kinlough’s Fianna Fáil Councillor asked Leitrim County Council, Financial Partner of the LEADER programme “that the monies available are divided equally between the three municipal areas.”
He wants the Manorhamilton Municipal District to receive €1.666 million from the programme.


Cllr Warnock was told by the council that the equal share of funds across the districts for this funding programme “would not be an acceptable strategy.”
The ultimate outcome of the investment of funding available will be dependent on the open application basis for projects going forward.


Cllr Warnock was not happy with the response and said he is “fearful north Leitrim will miss out.”
He said a tourism business competing against a south Leitrim one is “at a disadvantage.”


The council explained that applications are based on guidelines and no project is guaranteed funding but will be assessed on its own merits.
Cllr Mary Bohan supported the motion but said she understood “it cannot be done” as projects will be accessed on their quality.


Cllr Padraig Fallon said “the perception here is that more funds are spent in the two other municipal districts.” Cllr Sean McDermott added that in last round of LEADER funding, North Leitrim “punched above its weight.” Cllr Felim Gurn said there is not a lot of funding this time around and a lot of projects will be competing against each other. He commented “giving €100,000 to eight projects will be of no use to anybody.”


LEADER funding applications for Tourism/ Festivals and Social Inclusion need to be with Leitrim Development Company by December 9.