LEADER 2014-2020

Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 (LEADER)

The LEADER Initiative (Liaisons entre actions de developpement de l’économie rurale) was established by the European Commission in 1991.

LEADER was designed to aid the development of sustainable rural communities following the reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy. It promotes a ‘bottom-up’ approach to rural development, with the implementation of business plans and decisions on funding being made at a national level on projects.

Three long term strategic objectives have been identified for EU Rural Development policy in the 2014-2020 programming period:

  • Improving the competitiveness of agriculture
  • The sustainable management of natural resources and climate action
  • A balanced territorial development of rural areas.

These broad objectives are given more detailed expression through 6 priorities:

  • Fostering knowledge transfer in agriculture, forestry and rural areas
  • Enhancing the competitiveness of all types of agriculture and enhancing farm viability
  • Promoting food chain organisation and risk management in agriculture
  • Restoring, preserving and enhancing ecosystems dependent on agriculture and forestry
  • Promoting resource efficiency and supporting the shift toward a low-carbon and climate resilient economy in agriculture, food and forestry sectors
  • Promoting social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas.

Operated by 3 LCDCs/LAG Committees in co-operation with 6 Local Development Companies:

  • Avondhu/Blackwater Partnership
  • IRD Duhallow
  • SECAD Partnership
  • Ballyhoura Development
  • Comhar na nOileán
  • Udarás na Gaeltachta

As of 31st December, 2019, the following figures apply:

  • A total of 159 Projects to the value of €7.5M had been approved.
  • Under LEADER Food Initiative (separate national allocation of €5M), total of 14 projects approved, Value €726,944 with potential job creation of up to 45 new employment opportunities.
  • Under Transnational/Co-operation Programme (separate national allocation of €10M) total of 10 projects approved, Value €395,256k.


Further Information:

West Cork LEADER:

South Cork LEADER:

North Cork LEADER:


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