A range of local development projects in Galway are set to benefit from over €42 in LEADER funding, which was announced by the Government last week.
The sum, available to projects across the country, is part of an overall total of €90 million that has been secured to safeguard and maximise the positive impact of the LEADER Programme on rural communities.
The announcement followed the lifting of an embargo on funding under the scheme, which was put in place last February pending an examination of project activity in local development companies.
The release of the funding has been welcomed by several Galway TDs, including Fine Gael Deputy Brian Walsh, who said that it would create sustainable employment within rural communities throughout County Galway.
“In late 2011, the European Commission approved a change in the maximum co-funding rate from 55 per cent to 85 per cent for LEADER projects. This was a positive development for applicants but required a re-balancing exercise in the allocations to Local Development Companies,” he explained.
“I am pleased that authorisation has been provided for the issuance of contracts in respect of €42 million worth of projects that have the necessary approvals in place.”
Connemara TD Sean Kyne also welcomed the news, saying that a two-week period would now commence during which time local development companies would be requested to confirm the projects that are ready to proceed.
“Once confirmation has been received, the authorisation for the projects will be granted by the Minister and funded out of the €42 million that has been made available,” he said.
“In effect, this means that Galway community groups who are ready to proceed with projects will be able to access the funding within a matter of weeks. The Leader Programme is vital in stimulating economic activity and job creation and helps to support sustainable rural communities.”