€7 million to help Laois growth

Laois LEADER programme has the funds to help local projects get off the ground

€7 million to help Laois growth
By Express Reporternews@leinsterexpress.ieTwitter: @laoisnews

The LEADER Programme 2014-2020 is a funding initiative open to all, from community and voluntary groups to private individuals and small to medium enterprises.

LEADER can offer grant aid and support to projects aiming to promote the quality of life and economic opportunities for rural Laois, within the framework of the approved Local Development Strategy.

Under the National Programme, funding of €250 million has been provided, with Laois successful in securing €7.1 million to support and facilitate the continued development of rural communities all over the county.

LEADER funding is not intended for large scale projects and a ceiling of € 200,000 will apply. In most cases, however the finite nature of the funding and the focus of the local development strategy will mean that the average grant is likely to be much lower than the maximum figure.

In general, private projects carry a maximum grant rate of 50% for capital projects and 75% for analysis and development, subject to the ceilings below. Corresponding community based projects may receive up to 75% and 90% rates respectively. Training projects can receive up to 100% funding.

Interested parties are encouraged to contact Laois Partnership directly and meet with one of our development officers to discuss their project and establish its eligibility under the programme.

The Laois LEADER Programme was opened by Laois Local Action Group at its meeting in November 2016. Laois Local Action Group (LAG) comprises members of Laois Local Community Development Committee (LCDC), Laois County Council as Financial Partner and Laois Partnership Company as Implementing Partner.

LEADER 2014 – 2020 will be delivered through the implementation of the Laois Local Development Strategy (LDS). The vision of this Strategy in Laois is to create vibrant, innovative, sustainable and integrated rural communities in the county. Laois Local Action Group (LAG) will implement the Local Development Strategy through a number of strategic actions:

- Support and develop small businesses in Co Laois

- Development of Tourism as a driver of Job creation and Economic Development in Rural areas

- Ensure the vibrancy of the rural towns in Co Laois through capacity building and project support

- Exploitation of next generation broadband for rural communities

- Provide services and supports to the most hard to reach communities in rural county Laois

- Support the development of a wide range of skills among rural youth including entrepreneurship and innovation

- The promotion of Community-Based Social Change in developing a sustainable Society

For more inf0 contact Laois Partnership Company on (057) 8661900 or check out their website http://laoispartnership.ie/homepage/

programmes/rural-development-programme/.