Laois communities and local enterprises urged to access multi-million 'critical stimulus' pot of grants

Laois Partnership welcomes applications to access €2.1 million pot

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

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Image by Firmbee from Pixabay

Community groups and local agencies have been encouraged to apply for money to realise their project by the local agency that has just been given €2.1 million to award in grant support in Laois.

Laois Partnership Company has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Rural & Community Development Heather Humphreys TD, of an increased allocation of €70 million nationally for 2021 & 2022 under the LEADER Programme.

Peter O’Neill, Laois Partnership Company Chairman said the money can help local people who are best placed to apply.

"As the deliverers of LEADER in County Laois we are greatly encouraged by today’s announcement of our increased funding of €2,104,992 to the end of 2022 and endorse the Minister’s statement that LEADER has always been about a ground-up, community-led approach and that every town, village and parish is different and that means the people best placed to effect change in their communities are the people who live there.

"The new programme is now open for applications and I would encourage communities and local enterprises who wish to avail of funding to make contact with us to discuss how the LEADER Programme can assist their plans," he said.

Catherine Cowap is the Acting CEO of Laois Partnership Company.

“The LEADER Programme offers the ideal vehicle for the delivery of development funding to rural areas in the most effective manner. This increased funding will deliver critical stimulus and innovation to rural areas to help drive the post Covid recovery by building capacity and empowering local communities, embracing opportunities in the green economy, supporting remote working and the digital transformation, developing our outdoor amenities, and creating jobs in rural areas in line with the recently published ‘Our Rural Future’ strategy of which LEADER is key," she said.

Laois Partnership is a member of the Irish Local Development Network (ILDN) which represents the 35 Local Development Companies (LDCs) who deliver the LEADER Programme nationally.

LEADER is a rural development programme co-funded by the EU which operates a locally-led, bottom-up, approach to meeting the needs of local communities and businesses. The programme supports private enterprises and community groups in rural areas.  LEADER forms part of Ireland’s multi-annual Rural Development Programme which is co-financed by the EU and is part of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP).

See full breakdown by county.

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys announced on April 9the details of the allocation of the €70 million Transitional LEADER programme for the period 2021-2022.

·         €65 million is being allocated to support locally-led rural development projects across the 29 Local Action Groups (LAGs)

·         €3 million is being allocated to support the LEADER Co-operation measure which encourages rural areas to work together on collaborative projects

·         €2 million will be allocated to prepare for the next LEADER Programme