The cut in LEADER funding for Galway is unfair and needs to be explained. The Government have announced the funding for the new LEADER Programme with the allocation to Galway being reduced from €12.2 million in the previous programme to €9 million.
Galway are only two Counties to receive a cut in a time when there is escalating costs and more inflation on the way
Galway are being penalised and will now receive €46.63 per head of population which is less than half the amount allocated to neighbouring counties.
Forum Connemara run the programme in the West of the County and Galway Rural Development administer the programme in the east of the County. They have done a very good job and have spent all the funding received in the previous programmes.
The reduction is a massive blow to communities right across Galway who have benefited from the Leader programme in developing community facilities, boosting rural enterprise, and providing funding for town and village enhancements
“I will be calling on the Government and the Department of Rural and Community Development to explain themselves and account for such a drastic cut in funding for Galway and why Galway was singled out for a cut of 25% in funding.
Galway is part of the North and West Regional Assembly which the EU has designated as a region in decline, a lagging region due to the lack of investment by Government and this region including Galway should have positively discrimination with increases in funding and yet the Government decide to cut LEADER funding by 25%. There is no logic in this decision”.