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Rural and Community Development | LEADER Programme funds allocated to the Kildare County Council in the last four years

To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the full extent of funding made available to Kildare County Council in each of the past four years to date under the Leader Programme or similar provision; the degree to which this met requirements; and if she will make a statement on the matter.


The LEADER Programme is a key intervention of Our Rural Future, the Government’s Policy for rural development launched last year which aims to deliver a range of actions to rural communities over the lifetime of the policy. It is a multi-annual programme for rural development co-funded by the EU through the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The programme is based on a community-led approach to rural development and plays an important role in supporting communities and enterprises in progressing job creation, social inclusion and environmental projects at local level.

The 2014-2020 LEADER programme for Ireland had an allocation of €250 million.  €225 million of this budget was allocated at the outset of the programme to Local Action Groups (LAGs) who deliver the programme and approve projects at local level. This allocation covered both core project expenditure and the administration costs of the LAG. 

A further €70 million was allocated for the Transitional LEADER Programme which covers the period 2021-2022 of which €65 million was allocated to the LAGs to deliver the programme.

The LEADER programme is delivered in county Kildare by Kildare Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) as the LAG, with County Kildare LEADER Partnership as the Implementing Partner and Kildare County Council as the Lead Financial Partner (LFP).

The total amount allocated to the Kildare LAG under both the 2014-2020 and Transitional programme was €6,816,164.  This funding is allocated at the start of the relevant programming period rather than on an annual basis in keeping with the flexibility afforded to LAGs in managing delivery.  To date, €4,909,649 has been drawn down in respect of support for both approved projects and the administration and animation costs of the LAG. Further funding in relation to approved projects will be drawn down as these are completed and claims for payment are submitted by the promoters.

In situations where the LAGs administration and animation allocations are utilised, I approved additional funding in this area, subject to a maximum monthly contribution from the Exchequer, the limits of which were notified to each LAG in April 2021.  This contribution is based on the average monthly administration and animation allocation over the period July 2016 to December 2020.

Therefore, should the Kildare LAG utilise all its administration and animation programme funding, my Department will provide a maximum monthly contribution of €24,359 from the Exchequer towards the administration and animation costs incurred. Last week I announced the continuation of this exchequer funding, where necessary, to all LAGs, including the Kildare LAG, into 2023.

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