LEADER programme for Rural Development

The LEADER programme accepts applications based on projects which improve:

  • rural tourism
  • enterprise development
  • broadband
  • basic services targeted at hard-to-reach communities
  • rural youth
  • protection and sustainable use of water resources
  • local biodiversity
  • renewable energy

The LEADER programme is administered at a local level by 29 local action groups, which contain local representatives from the community, public and private sector. Each group is responsible for selecting and awarding LEADER funding to projects within their geographical area.

A project must be aligned with the priorities of the local development strategy. The total funding available under the LEADER 2014-2020 Programme is €250 million.


Funding is delivered to 28 sub regional areas through Local Action Groups (LAGs). These groups are partnerships of public and private entities from a defined geographical area. Local action groups are responsible for local projects in accordance with the local development strategies they develop themselves.


Promoters interested in accessing assistance under the LEADER Programme should submit an expression of interest to their local action group.