I have called on the Government to put transitional arrangements in place to fully fund the LEADER Programme for 2021 in advance of the next Rural Development Programme.
The LEADER Programme plays an important role in supporting the rural economy particularly enterprise and community development. This funding is vital in the context of the recovery of rural areas post COVID-19 restrictions.
‘I am particularly concerned that the current LEADER Programme concludes at the end of 2020’.
It is important that in the context of EU CAP transition rules, that funding is maintained for 2021 and support for rural enterprises and community projects is maintained.
‘The total funding available under the existing programme 2014-2020 was €250 million. The Programme supports rural tourism, enterprises, development, community facilities, farm diversification and social inclusion initiatives’.