The Irish Local Development Network (ILDN) representing the 35 Local Development Companies (LDCs) who deliver the LEADER Programme nationally, have welcomed the announcement by the, Minister for Rural & Community Development Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister for Agriculture Food & Marine Charlie McConalogue TD, of an increased allocation of €70 million in 2021 & 2022 for the LEADER Programme.

Welcoming the announcement, ILDN Chairman Jim Finn said; “ILDN have recently been calling for the Government to utilise funding available from the EU for Rural Development, for the purposes of LEADER. As the deliverers of LEADER across the Country we are greatly encouraged by today’s announcement of an increased allocation of €70 million to the end of 2022.”

ILDN Rural Development Chairman Éamonn O’Reilly continued; “The LEADER Programme offers the ideal vehicle for the delivery of development funding to Rural Areas in the most effective manner. The allocation of this increased funding will deliver critical stimulus to Rural areas to help drive the post Covid recovery. Furthermore the funding announced today will ensure that more vital projects in the areas of climate change, digital transformation, remote working and enterprise development can be progressed in our rural communities throughout the country to meet the expectations of the EU in terms of the requirements of its Recovery funding criteria.”