Press Release: ILDN MEMBER Mary Mullen welcomes clarity from Minister Humphries on LEADER Programme for 2021

DATE: 18th December 2020
CONTACT: Gabriel O’Connell

Monaghan Integrated Development is the Local Development Company for county Monaghan a member of the Irish Local Development Network representing the 35 Local Development Companies (LDCs) that implement the LEADER programme across the Country, have welcomed the recent announcement by Minister for Social Protection, Rural & Community Affairs Heather Humphreys TD, of the arrangements for a transitional LEADER programme for 2021.

ILDN members had expressed concern recently at the lack of clarity in terms of the Government plans for LEADER ahead of the expiry of the current programme at the end of December 2020. Today’s announcement provides welcome clarity for rural areas, Local Development Companies and their staff. Commenting on the announcement, Monaghan Integrated Development CEO, Gabriel O’Connell said; “LEADER is a vitally important programme for locally-led rural development and it is crucial that it is properly resourced. The provision of funding for new projects in Communities for 2021 is indeed very welcome particularly against the backdrop of Brexit and the COVID-19 recovery. The announcement by Minister Humphreys this week allows our LDC members to drive the COVID-19 recovery in their Communities with emphasis on projects in new areas under the themes energy, climate agenda, digital transformation, building capacity of communities.”

Monaghan Integrated Development CEO, Gabriel O’Connell continued; “the measures confirmed in recent days by the Minister are timely and encouraging for community-led development in County Monaghan. The changes to the grant rate for enterprise and commercial projects from 50% to 75% is encouraging as is the confirmation of a new call for proposals under the LEADER Food initiative which will support funding for artisan, micro and small food producers. Finally the flexibilities in terms of concluding the current programme and the provision for administration and animation are all to be welcomed.”

Monaghan Integrated Development and the ILDN believe that the LEADER programme is of utmost importance to the future development of rural communities and are keen to work with the Department of Rural & Community Development and the Department of Agriculture Food & Marine in the development of the next LEADER Programme 2023-2027 and the fulfilment of the Programme for Government commitments in terms of supporting a LEADER Programme which addresses important needs of rural communities and enterprises in counties like Monaghan.