Projects valued at €11.2 million approved for LEADER funding

Leitrim Observer reporter

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Leitrim Observer reporter

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Over three hundred projects, valued at €11.2 million have been approved for funding so far this year under the LEADER Programme 2014 to 2020, according to an analysis by the National Rural Network (NRN).
 
Since its inception in 1991, LEADER has provided grants to rural Ireland to direct economic and social development through community-led local development. Funded through Ireland’s Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, in total under the current LEADER Programme over 1,900 projects have been approved with a value of €66.4 million.
 
Of the 327 projects approved so far in 2019, the value of the average LEADER grant approved is approximately €34,000.  Funding approved in 2019 has been awarded to both large-and small-scale projects. A total of 31 grants of over €100,000 have been approved in 2019 alongside 132 grants of less than €10,000.
 
LEADER funding is targeted at priority areas identified in Local Development Strategies. Under the ‘Economic Development, Enterprise Development and Job Creation’ theme a total of 212 projects, valued at €6.4 million, so far in 2019. Rural tourism projects make up the majority of this with over 104 projects valued at €2.1 million.
 
Another priority area is ‘Social Inclusion’ and 96 projects, valued at €4.4 million, have been approved under this theme so far in 2019. The final core priority area is ‘Rural Environment’ which sees 19 projects approved so far in 2019 valued of over €360,000.
 
Looking at the 29 Local Development Strategy areas, the number of approved projects varies. The average by area in 2019 so far is 11 projects valued at almost €385,000.
 
In specific areas, 42 projects were approved to a value close to €1 million.
 
Funding is still available under the LEADER Programme 2014-2020. Those interested in applying can contact the Local Action Group in their local area. Contact details are available from the NRN’s database, which is available at www.nationalruralnetwork.ie/ leader/