Our Rural Future: Minister Humphreys announces details of new €180 million LEADER Programme
- Interested groups invited to apply to deliver 2023-2027 LEADER Programme
- Total of €180 million available to support rural communities and enterprises
- Funding allocations for each county published today
- Private and Public stakeholders urged to work together to deliver positive impact for Rural Ireland
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today announced the details of the €180 million LEADER Programme for 2023-2027.
The major investment will support thousands of locally-led rural development and enterprise projects over the next five years. This allocation is in addition to the €70 million already provided for LEADER for 2021 and 2022, bringing the total allocation for the seven year LEADER programming period of 2021-2027 to €250 million.
Minister Humphreys today published the 2023-2027 funding allocation for each county.
The selection process will be conducted over two stages; the first stage is an ‘Expression of Interest’ by eligible groups followed by a more detailed stage which will see them develop their LEADER strategies.
The first stage of the process was opened by Minister Humphreys today.
Making the announcement, Minister Humphreys said:
“The LEADER Programme has been integral to delivering locally-led projects that have brought major benefits to communities across Rural Ireland.
“LEADER operates on a ground-up approach and is all about empowering local communities to deliver projects that will revitalise our towns and villages.
“Today, I’m pleased to set out the process for selecting groups to deliver the new LEADER programme.
“The process will be open, transparent and competitive and I am encouraging groups in the private and public sector to work together to achieve the best possible results.”
The Minister announced that interested parties will have until Friday 16th December 2022 to submit their Expression of Interest (Stage 1).
All groups that are successful in Stage 1 will be provided with funding to assist with the costs associated with developing a Local Development Strategy in Stage 2 of the process.
A fund of €2 million has been ring-fenced for this purpose which will commence in early 2023.
Minister Humphreys acknowledged the tremendous work of the Local Action Groups that have successfully delivered the current LEADER programme, stating:
“It is now important that the key public and private stakeholders in communities across Ireland come together in partnership to deliver a LEADER programme that will build on the fantastic success of the programme over the last 30 years.
“By working together, we will ensure that LEADER continues to play a central role in supporting rural communities into the future.”
As part of the new CAP Strategic Plan funding of €180 million has been committed to LEADER for 2023-2027. The Minister also confirmed that all of this funding will be allocated to the Local Action Groups who are appointed to deliver the new programme. A breakdown of the allocation is provided in the table below.
Interested parties can now apply by visiting the Department’s website and downloading an application form via the following link:
Completed Expressions of Interest forms must be submitted by email only to [email protected] no later than 5.30pm on Friday 16th December 2022.
The Department of Rural and Community Development will host an information webinar for all interested parties on 10th November 2022.
Registration for this event is available here
2023-2027 LEADER Funding Allocations by county
|Dublin Rural||€4.7 m|
*County Cork includes three sub-regional areas of North Cork, South Cork and West Cork, the allocation indicated will be distributed across the three sub-regional areas.
The Department of Rural and Community Development Press Office
01-773 6843 / 087-173 4633
Notes to Editors:
LEADER, a key intervention of Our Rural Future, is a rural development programme co-funded by the EU which operates a locally-led, bottom-up, approach to meeting the needs of rural communities and businesses. The programme supports private enterprises and community groups in rural areas.
The programme is based on a community-led approach to rural development and plays an important role in supporting communities and enterprises in progressing job creation, social inclusion and environmental projects at local level.
Funding is currently delivered by 29 Local Action Groups (LAGs) in 28 sub-regional areas. These groups are partnerships of public and private entities from a defined geographical area. LAGs are responsible for local projects in accordance with the Local Development Strategies they develop themselves.
Groups who wish to apply to implement the LEADER 2023-2027 programme will be required to clearly demonstrate strategic direction and coherence with EU, regional and national rural development policies such as Local Economic Community Plans, as well as demonstrating their connection to communities and the bottom up approach. They must also show that they have the capacity to deliver the programme to a high governance standard.
€250 million has been made available for LEADER for the period 2021 to 2027. This is comprised of €70 million for the transitional period 2021 to 2022 which came into effect on 1 April 2021 and an additional €180 million from 2023 to 2027. Details of the funding allocations by county is listed in table below.
Our Rural Future
Our Rural Future is the whole-of-government policy for rural Ireland for the period 2021-2025. It represents a new milestone in the approach to rural development policy for Ireland and adopts a more strategic, ambitious and holistic approach to investing in and maximising opportunities for rural areas.