The LEADER programme was launched in 1991 and has provided rural communities, across the EU, with the resources to enable local partners to actively engage and direct the local development of their area.
The current LEADER Programme 2014 – 2020 will provide €250 million (7% of the RDP) in funding to rural communities over the next 5 – 6 years throughout Ireland. During this period, almost €8m of LEADER funding will be invested in innovative community and private enterprise projects throughout Laois.
Laois Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) has responsibility for the delivery of LEADER 2014-2020 in the county. The key Implementation Partner (IP) is Laois Partnership Company (LPC).
Decisions on LEADER funding are made at a local level by a Local Action Group (LAG) which is made up of people from the local community as well as from the local public and private sector
It is responsible for selecting and approving projects in accordance with the Local Development Strategies (LDS) developed for the area.
The LDS is a plan that is developed by rural communities to support sustainable development of their sub-regional area.
The Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs is the programme manager for LEADER. Pobal supports the Department in elements of the programme including managing the LDS selection process, financial verification checks and the roll out of the ICT system.
The LEADER programme is included under priority 6 of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 (RDP): “promoting social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas.”
To facilitate a more effective targeting of resources, the requirements of the RDP were identified through consultation and research. The RDP outlines a series of themes that were identified as overarching needs in rural Ireland.
LEADER has three RDP and nine sub-themes:
Theme 1: Economic Development, Enterprise Development and Job Creation.
Sub-themes: Rural Tourism, Enterprise Development, Rural Town and Broadband.
Theme 2: Social Inclusion
Sub-themes: Basic services targeted at hard to reach communities and Rural Youth.
Theme 3: Rural Environment
Sub-themes: Protection and sustainable use of water resources, Protection and improvement of local bio-diversity and Development of renewable energy.
HOW TO APPLY FOR LEADER FUNDING
For further information on LEADER funding in Laois, including how to apply, please contact the Implementing Partner (IP) ie Laois Partnership Company (LPC) at:
Laois Partnership Company, Head Office, County Hall (Áras an Chontae), Portlaoise, Co.Laois
Tel: 057 8661900 Fax: 057 8678043