63. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the number of projects that have been applied for and approved under the Leader programme to date; the number of applications being processed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18923/18 asked on 02 May 2018)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): LEADER is a multi-annual EU co-funded programme to support rural development.  Ireland has an allocation of €250 million under the programme over the period 2014-2020, including both national and EU funding.  The programme is administered by Local Action Groups (LAGs) which deliver funding in accordance with Local Development Strategies that have been agreed for each LAG area.

As of 30th April, 2018, 929 project applications with a value of almost €27 million have been approved for LEADER funding.  A further 320 project applications requesting over €17.7 million in funding are at various stages in the approval process. This funding will be drawn down as projects start to incur expenditure and submit payment claims.