The Irish Local Development Network representing Irelands 49 Local Development Companies (LDCs) and the 35 LDCs who deliver the LEADER Programme nationwide have today joined with Ministers Humphreys, McConalogue and Hackett in urging artisan micro and small food businesses to avail of the €5 million LEADER Food Initiative.

Commenting on the call for applications, ILDN Chair Jim Finn said; “our members across the Country stand ready in continuing to assist artisan micro and small food enterprises who wish to invest in their businesses in this important time as our economy emerges from the twin challenges of Brexit and COVID19. With a revised rate of aid of 75% the LEADER Food initiative offers attractive support to food enterprises wishing to take the next step.”

Also responding to the Ministers statement, ILDN Rural Development Chair Éamonn O’Reilly said; “our Network of 49 Local Development Companies, 35 of whom deliver LEADER are ready willing and able in continuing to assist food businesses who wish to find out more about the LEADER Food initiative. With a range of supports available including funding up to €200,000 the LEADER Food initiative has proven to be a real catalyst for successful artisan, micro and small food enterprises in recent years. I am advising interested parties to seek out their LDC today to discuss whatever plans they may have for progressing their Food enterprise.”

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).