LEADER Programme 2014-2020

Pobal supports the Department of Rural and Community Development in the administration of a number of elements of the LEADER Programme.

Since its launch in 1991, LEADER has provided rural communities across the European Union with the resources to enable local partners to actively engage and direct the local development of their area, through community-led local development. In Ireland, under the LEADER Programme for 2014-2020, a budget of €250 million in grant aid is being provided to support rural communities and local businesses.

As programme manager, the Department of Rural and Community Development is responsible for managing the LEADER Programme. Further information on the current Programme is available here.

How does the Programme Operate?

The LEADER Programme is administered at a local level by 29 Local Action Groups (LAGs) who operate on administrative or county boundaries and are made up of local representatives from the community, public and private sector.

Each LAG is responsible for selecting and awarding LEADER funding to projects within their geographical area. A project must be aligned with the priorities of the Local Development Strategy (LDS). The LDS is a 5 year plan that was developed by the LAG, in conjunction with the the rural community, to support the sustainable development of the area. Grant aid is provided to projects under the following priorities/themes:

Theme 1Theme 2Theme 3
Economic Development, Enterprise Development
and Job Creation
Social InclusionRural Environment
  • Rural Tourism
  • Enterprise Development
  • Rural Towns
  • Broadband
  • Basic Services targeted at hard to reach communities
  • Rural Youth
  • Protection and sustainable use of water resources
  • Local Biodiversity
  • Renewable energy

How to apply for LEADER funding?

For further information on the LEADER Programme in your local area, including how to apply for funding, please see the list of: Local Action Group & Implementing Partners in the Resources section below.

What is Pobal’s role in LEADER?

Pobal is supporting the Department in delivering a number of distinct elements of the LEADER Programme, this includes:

  • Appraisal and Selection of Local Development Strategies (LDS)
  • Annual Review of the Implementation of the LDS
  • Performance Monitoring
  • Financial Verification checks
  • Roll out & Technical Support on the LEADER ICT system

Pobal has developed a series of guidance documents, specifically for Local Action Groups and Implementing Partners, to support them in the delivery of the LEADER Programme.

These guidance documents are available in the Resource section below.


ICT User Guides

Programme Contact Details

LEADER Programme Queries

E. rdp1420@drcd.gov.ie


T. 01 511 7222
E. onlinesupport@pobal.ie