Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy has welcomed the news that a total of 91 projects to the value of over €4M in LEADER projects have been approved since the programme was launched by Cork County Council in 2017. This comprises of 81 contracts issued (€3.2M) with 9 projects at Provisional Approval (€800k. In addition to this, another 13 projects to the value of €600k are nearing final stages of approval with many other schemes at various process stages.
Mayor Murphy reiterated the Council’s commitment to community development and job creation, stating that over the years funding through LEADER has improved the prosperity of both people and places throughout the county and that he is looking forward to the continuation of same.
The LEADER Programme supports local and community projects across a diverse range of themes including; rural tourism, enterprise development, rural towns, access to broadband, basic services targeted at hard-to-reach communities, rural youth, protection and sustainable use of water resources, protection and improvement of local biodiversity, and development of renewable energy.
Decisions on LEADER funding are made at a local level by the three Local Action Groups (LAGs), which are sub groups of Cork County Council’s Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) in North, South and West Cork. The Cork County LAGs work in partnership with six Implementing Partners who work with, and support, project promoters in each local community in order to bring projects to fruition namely; Avondhu/Blackwater Partnership CLG, Ballyhoura Development CLG, IRD Duhallow CLG, SECAD Partnership CLG, Udarás na Gaeltachta and Comhar na nOileán CTR.
Finbarr Harrington, Chair of the West Cork LCDC said,
" We are delighted to be in a position to support funding for these community led projects, all of which give great potential to promote sustainable development for rural communities across County Cork."
The LEADER programme 2014 - 2020 is co-financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, an initiative to support rural development projects initiated at the local level, in order to revitalise rural areas and create jobs.
Overseen by the Department of Rural and Community Development, funding to the value of €13.93M has been allocated to Cork County over the five year period, of this 25% is allocated to the Local Development Companies for programme delivery. The fund allocated per LAG is as follows:
Allocation Per LAG Combined No. of Contracts and Provisional Approvals Value of Contracts/Provisional Approvals
North Cork €3,810,543 47 €1,883,848.16
South Cork €2,803,477 16 €542,979.93
West Cork €3,691,755 28 €1,539,624.58
As the available budget under the current LEADER programme was greatly reduced in this programme, the elected members of Cork County Council responded by providing a supplementary Community Development Initiative Fund of €3.5M of Council own funds available to support communities of Cork County.
Chair of North Cork LCDC, Cllr. Gerard Murphy stated
"This fund will give further recognition for the tremendous work and commitment given by all communities throughout the County."
Cork County Council, in association with their Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) and in co-operation with Local Development Companies recently released Phase 1 of this fund, a total of €1.5M. These monies will be used to fund local community development capital projects, applications are currently being processed with decisions due in March.
Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey highlighted how both LEADER and the Community Development Initiative are an example of the Council’s continuing dedication to local communities,
“Through our 3 Local Development Committees, we are committed to improving the range and quality of community based facilities which will assist in providing the very best quality of life to our citizens.”
Under the LEADER Programme individuals, businesses, social enterprises and community groups are eligible and invited to apply for LEADER funding. Cllr. Michael Hegarty, Chair of South Cork LCDC said,
"We are committed to bringing many more projects to fruition during 2019 and 2020 and would encourage anyone with new ideas to please contact your local Development Company to discuss further."
Contact details, Expression of Interest forms and all the latest LEADER news are available to view on relevant LEADER websites listed hereunder:
Click on link below to see full list of approved LEADER projects