The National Rural Network (NRN) today launched a national campaign to celebrate the success of the LEADER programme in Ireland. Since its inception in 1991, the European Union  programme has provided grants to rural Ireland to direct economic and social development through community-led local initiatives. Funded through Ireland’s Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014-2020, the current LEADER Programme budget provides €250 million in financial grant aid which is 7% of the overall RDP. 

The NRN is now inviting participants in the current LEADER-programme (2014-2020) to share their success stories through short videos. The video should communicate the impact of LEADER funding on a local enterprise, organisation, community or the local environment. 

A winner will be chosen on each thematic category (three winners in total) as per the themes in the current LEADER Programme, namely: Theme 1: Economic Development, Enterprise Development and Job Creation, Theme 2: Social Inclusion and Theme 3: Rural Environment.  

The winning entries will be showcased nationally by the NRN and in Europe, by the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD). The winners will also each receive a One for All Gift Voucher to the value of €200.  

Commenting on the NRN LEADER impact campaign, Seamus Boland, Director of the National Rural Network said, Rural communities are facing tremendous challenges, including economic decline, depopulation, access to broadband and transport, a decline in biodiversity and the impact of climate change – it is crucial that we share and learn from our success stories. We have a lot to be proud of, and I strongly encourage participating businesses and organisations to take up this opportunity to promote their work.” 

Entries open on Tuesday, 1 September and will close on 2 October at 5pm. From 12 October to 6 November the public will have an opportunity to vote for their favourite entries. For more information, or to submit you entry, please visit this webpage.