What is the LEADER Programme?
The LEADER programme is funded under Ireland’s Rural Development Programme (RDP), which is supported under the “The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas” and by the Department of Rural and Community Development. The aim of the programme is to develop and strengthen rural communities across Ireland and improve the overall quality of life for those living in them. The acronym ‘LEADER’ derives from the French words “Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l’Économique Rurale” which means, ‘Links between the rural economy and development actions’.
What is the purpose of LEADER?
The main aim of LEADER is to strengthen the rural economy and to improve the quality of life in rural areas. Through focusing on the key principles of innovation, sustainability, social inclusion and economic viability and links with other organisations, LEADER can make a significant contribution to sustaining our rural economy, communities, and environment. Economic growth and job creation are essential to the growth of rural areas. Sustainable use of local and natural resources will improve the economic viability of rural areas in the long term.
For further information on LEADER see:
How does Dublin Rural LEADER Operate?
Dublin Rural LEADER provides funding to enterprises and community groups throughout the rural areas of Fingal, South Dublin County and Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown for projects that are selected by the Local Action Group (LAG). The Dublin LAG consists of local representatives across the three local authority areas from both the public and private sector. Dublin Local Action Group has the overall responsibility for the delivery of the Dublin Rural LEADER programme. Fingal LEADER Partnership CLG are the Implementing Partner and first point of contact for information and enquiries about the programme and Fingal County Council are the Financial Partner.
What the LEADER Programme Supports?
The Dublin Rural LEADER programme provides funding for projects across rural Dublin that promote social inclusion, develop the local economy through enterprise and tourism, and protect the environment. With all funding successfully allocated under LEADER 2014-2020 which completed on 31st March 2021, the new Transitional Programme 2021-2022 for LEADER funding commenced April 1st, 2021 and will run until December 2022. This new Programme will bridge the gap between the wind-up of the 2014-2020 LEADER Programme and the start of the next EU Programme in 2023.
A key focus of the Transitional LEADER Programme is on building capacity within communities that have not received LEADER funding to-date. It will also continue to support and encourage entrepreneurship and job creation in rural Dublin, and support projects that address the climate agenda and digital transformation, as well as encourage rural communities across the county to build on their existing strengths and assets.
The Transitional LEADER Programme seeks to address the challenges facing rural Ireland and places emphases on the following aims and priorities:
- Aims of the Transitional Programme:
- Promote projects which support communities in a post-COVID-19 environment
- Work closely with communities, and particularly those who have not previously benefitted from LEADER Funding to build their capacity for the next programme to ensure weaker communities are not left behind
- Support job creation, entrepreneurship, enterprise development and innovation in a post-COVID-19 and/or post-Brexit environment
- Explore & develop projects for funding in thematic areas which are likely to feature strongly in the next EU-funded Programme (climate agenda, digital transformation, Smart Village)
- Priorities of the Transitional Programme:
- Supports to rural businesses seeking to reach new markets, expand, innovate and/or diversify in response to the impact of COVID-19 and/or Brexit with a particular emphasis on providing support to businesses in the Food Sector
- Community based projects that seek to address the impact of the Covid -19 Pandemic
- Support capacity building for communities that have not previously received assistance under LEADER or other rural programmes
- Support for new and innovative projects in the areas of climate change, environmental protection, and the green economy
- Projects that develop the concept of the Smart Village initiative or Rural Economic Development Zones (REDZs)2
- Maximise the potential of broadband and the digital economy in communities, including through skills development and building awareness and usage of available remote working facilities
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