**CURRENT POSITION REGARDING LEADER FUNDING**
NEW LEADER PROGRAMME 2015-2020
The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government has informed the West Cork Development Partnership that its application for Stage 1 of the Local Development Strategy (LDS) selection process has been successful and it is now invited to prepare and submit an LDS for the new RDP (LEADER) programme.
The priority for the new LEADER programme is to promote social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas. This acknowledges the key challenges facing the region following the economic downturn and facilitates the provision of supports to address issues, such as the impact of high levels of unemployment and an increase in levels of poverty and exclusion. As LEADER aims to build the capacity and skills of the local community and socio-economic interests to tackle local development objectives, it directly contributes to the promotion of local development in rural areas, which itself has three focus areas:
- Facilitating diversification, creation of new small enterprises and job creation;
- Promoting local development in rural areas;
- Enhancing access to, use and quality of ICT in rural areas.
The priority themes and associated sub –themes for economic and community development proposed for the programme are as follows
Over the coming weeks the West Cork Development Partnership will be engaged in a comprehensive consultation process throughout the region. This will be carried out through a variety of media and public events all of which will invite priority actions, innovative plans and ideas, strategies or observations to be submitted for consideration for inclusion in the proposed Local Development Strategy. All local projects for which LEADER funding will be sought will be required to adhere to the agreed strategy. It is intended that the consultation process will conclude no later than 30th September 2015 to allow for the commencement of the new RDP programme in late 2015 / early 2016.
Further detail on the new programme can be found at https://www.pobal.ie/FundingProgrammes/LEADER/Pages/LEADER.aspx
If you would like to articulate the needs and opportunities within your community or area of interest, express your thoughts and ideas on any or all of the programme themes or have a general query on programme funding opportunities please contact Ian Dempsey, CEO at firstname.lastname@example.org or 023/8834035. Further information, particularly in relation to operating rules and eligibility criteria will be publicised as soon as it is made available by the Department of Environment, Community and local Government.
The LEADER programme is delivered by a Local Action Group in line with an area based local development strategy. The strategy is implemented in a bottom-up fashion, i.e not programmed from the top down at national or EU level but based on local needs, circumstances and consultation. For this reason there will be subtle differences in the approach of local development groups around Ireland. For more information on the LEADER approach visit www.elard.eu/en_GB/leader-approach
Who should I talk to?
If you would like to discuss a project proposal or seek some advice just give us a call on 023-8834035 and ask for the relevant contact below.
Lisa Cashman – Community, and Environment – email lisac @ wcdp.ie
Kevin Santry – Business Creation, Agri Diversification, Food – email kevin @ wcdp.ie
Jean O’Sullivan – Tourism and craft – email jean @ wcdp.ie
David Tuohy – Digital Media, Creative Media, Digital Business – email david @ wcdp.ie
Ivan McCutcheon – RDP Programme Manager – email ivan @wcdp.ie
What has been funded from 2007-2014? – projects that have been allocated funding to date.
Funding policies – WCDP has defined it’s policy for certain project types, these will likely be updated to reflect the operating rules in the new programme and the priorities of the West Cork Local Development Strategy
Acknowledgement of funding – Logos & requirements to Acknowledge RDP/LEADER Assistance