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The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced today the details of a Transitional LEADER Programme. This programme will come into effect in April 2021 and will bridge the gap between the current Programme (2014-2020) and the start of the next LEADER Programme which is not likely to commence until 2023.

Some key features of the Transitional Programme include:

  • An initial allocation of €20 million to LAGs to cover new projects and administration
  • A review of the Transitional Programme in 2021 when there is certainty regarding EU funding for the transitional period to 2023
  • Project approvals under the Transitional Programme will commence from 1st April 2021, however, LAGs can animate for these projects from the 1st January 2021
  • Additional funding of €7m will also be provided to the LAGs to support the on-going management and delivery of projects still running under the 2014-2020 LEADER programme
  • A new call for proposals under the LEADER Food Initiative, which supports new and existing artisan, micro and small food producers will be made in 2021

There are also a number of additional flexibilities outlined in the Transitional Programme including:

  • Grant rate for enterprises and commercial projects will be increased from a maximum of 50% to a maximum of 75% to support enterprise development and job creation in rural areas
  • There will be an extension to the deadline for commitments under the current LEADER programme to the end of March 2021 to facilitate the full allocation of funds available under that programme
  • Under the current programme, LAGs will be allowed to recommit un-used funding

Commenting on the programme, Minister Humphreys stated:

The Transitional Programme will give local communities and enterprises an opportunity to respond to the emerging challenges for rural areas and to look ahead to issues that are likely to feature in the next EU programme. It will allow the Local Development Companies to build capacity within communities who have not received LEADER funding to date, while also facilitating preparations for the next LEADER programme”.

To read the full details, see: https://bit.ly/3r1s8V4