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Disappointment at Leader Funding Reduction

I have today welcomed the allocations of funding under the Leader Programme for 2014-2020. “I am very mindful of the work that has been done under Leader since it was first introduced in 1991. A huge number of jobs have been either created or sustained as a result of projects funded by leader over the years.”

” However, I am extremely disappointed that the amount of funding that will be available over the period of this new Leader programme will be substantially reduced. The allocation for the whole of Connacht shows a decrease in funding of approximately 35% compared with the revised allocation for 2007-2013″ 

“The allocation for Roscommon(€8.8m), Leitrim(€5.9m) and Galway(€12.1m) all show huge reductions at a time when rural areas were never more in need of a serious stimulus. We have very strong community groups who have been waiting for the past few years and getting plans in order but the reduction in funds will greatly impact on the amount of work that can be done.”

“Ireland has agreed an allocation of €2.1 billion for the Rural Development Programme(RDP) and the EU stipulate that the amount allocated to Leader must be, at least, 5%. I believe the Government chose to make 7% of the RDP funding available to Leader but a greater percentage would have helped provide the stimulus needed in our rural areas.”