The Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs is the programme manager for LEADER. Pobal supports the Department in elements of the programme including managing the LDS selection process, financial verification checks and the roll out of the ICT system.
The LEADER programme for 2014-2020 has identified a number of strategic objectives and priorities for EU rural development. In Ireland, the overall LEADER budget is €250m (7% of the RDP).
In the Irish context, LEADER is included under priority 6 of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 (RDP): "promoting social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas."
To facilitate a more effective targeting of resources, the requirements of the RDP were identified through consultation and research. The RDP outlines a series of themes that were identified as overarching needs in rural Ireland.
LEADER has three RDP and nine sub-themes:
Theme 1: Economic Development, Enterprise Development and Job Creation.
Sub-themes: Rural Tourism, Enterprise Development, Rural Town and Broadband.
Theme 2: Social Inclusion
Sub-themes: Basic services targeted at hard to reach communities and Rural Youth.
Theme 3: Rural Environment
Sub-themes: Protection and sustainable use of water resources, Protection and improvement of local bio-diversity and Development of renewable energy.
For further information on LEADER funding in your local area, including how to apply, please contact the relevant Local Action Group (LAG) or the associated Implementing Partner (IP) in your area.
LEADER ICT System
The new LEADER ICT system will be rolled out on a phased basis. Phase 1, which facilitates the submission of a monthly return (administration and animation expenditure) went live at the beginning of August.
Information regarding the next phase which relates to full project information and claims will be available in due course.