A total of 159 projects across County Cork, including dozens within Cork North West, have been approved for LEADER funding to a total value of more than €7.5 million since 2017, Fine Gael General Election candidate Councillor John Paul O’Shea has said.
Cllr. O’Shea, a candidate in the upcoming general election in Cork North West, said the LEADER programme supports community projects across a diverse range of themes from rural tourism, enterprise, rural towns, broadband access and basic services targeted at hard-to-reach communities. Projects cover rural youth, the protection and sustainable use of water resources, protection of local biodiversity and development of renewable energy.
In addition to the LEADER projects funding, a further €727,000 has been granted to 14 artisan, micro & small food producers throughout Cork County under a separate national €5 million LEADER Food Initiative allocation. Funds were used to purchase additional product equipment, marketing & branding resulting in the potential job creation of up to 45 new employment opportunities.
Cllr. O’Shea’s colleague, Minister for Rural & Community Development, Michael Ring TD, recently made available an additional €5 million to the top ten high performing LEADER Local Action Groups (LAGs) in the country. North Cork Local Action Group were successful in being named as the top LAG in the Country as regards the overall spend allocation of their LEADER budget and were awarded an additional allocation of €500,000 which will go towards supporting many more projects in the North Cork area.
Decisions on LEADER funding are made at a local level by the three LAGs which are sub groups of Cork County Council’s Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) in North, South & West Cork. The Cork County LAGs work in partnership with six Implementing partners who work with and support project promoters in each local community to bring projects to fruition, namely: Avondhu/Blackwater Partnership CLG, Ballyhoura Development CL
The LEADER programme 2014-2020 is co-financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, an initiative to support rural development projects initiated at the local level in order to revitalise rural areas and create jobs.
Overseen by the Department of Rural & Community Development, funding to the value of €13.93 million has been allocated to Cork County over the five-year period.
Individuals, businesses, social enterprises and community groups are eligible and invited to apply for LEADER funding.
Contact details, Expression of Interest forms and all the latest LEADER news are available to view on relevant LEADER websites: