Leader What support can LEADER provide?

The Monaghan LEADER programme provides funding for projects across the county that promote social inclusion, develop the local economy through enterprise and tourism, and protect the environment.  We can provide help and support with training, developing a business plan or community plan, and with providing capital assistance for an enterprise start-up or expansion.  To be eligible for funding, proposed projects must be in line with the themes and sub-themes contained in Monaghan Local Development Strategy (LDS).  The strategy was developed through a bottom-up approach where the community identified its own needs and priorities with a view to focusing funding on those areas. The full Monaghan Local Development Strategy document is available below or you can read a summary of the document below.  Proposed projects must also be in line with LEADER Operating Rules for the RDP 2014-2020.

For more information about the background to the LEADER Programme and ‘What is the LEADER Programme’, click here.

Who can apply for LEADER funding? 

  • Individuals and groups with a rural enterprise start-up idea
  • Existing rural businesses that are looking to expand or diversify their enterprise
  • Community groups interested in developing social enterprises, local facilities and amenities, infrastructure and services
  • Voluntary groups interested in promoting the environment and local social amenities
  • Partnership groups interested in working with each other for the benefit of the wider community

For information and ideas on ‘What kind of projects can be funded Monaghan LEADER’, please click here.

How do I apply for LEADER funding? Applying for Monaghan LEADER funding is a two-step process.

Step 1:  Complete and submit an expression of interest form outlining details of your proposed project. The Expression of Interest Form and Expression of Interest Guidance Notes are available for download below.

The information you provide in your Expression of Interest form is used to check whether your project proposal is in line with Monaghan Local Development Strategy and LEADER Operating Rules. 

Step 2: If your proposed project is deemed eligible, you will receive your LEADER Application Pack and an invitation to attend a mandatory Pre-Application Workshop that will provide you with assistance and guidance on completing the application form.   Fully completed application forms with all supporting documentation will be assessed by an Independent Evaluation Committee who will make a recommendation, and a final decision regarding funding will then be made by Monaghan Local Action Group.  LEADER Development Staff will be available to answer any queries on or telephone 042-9749500.

Open Rolling Calls and Time Limited Calls Due to recent changes to the delivery of the LEADER Programme at a national level, for the majority of strategic actions under Monaghan LEADER you can submit an Expression of Interest form at any time during the life of the programme (subject to available budget).  These are termed ‘Open Rolling Calls’.  However, there are a few strategic actions for which Monaghan LEADER funding will only be available based on ‘Time-Limited Calls’ that involve an opening and a closing date for submission of Expression of Interest forms. Time-Limited Calls are competitive and their purpose is to ensure that LEADER funding is targeted where it delivers the most value, is awarded based on a comparative assessment, and secures equal opportunities for all potential applicants.  Details of Time-Limited Calls for the remainder of the programme are available here.  These calls will also be advertised in the local press, or for the latest news you can follow us on twitter or telephone us on 042 9749500.   What are the rates of aid available? The following rates of aid are the maximum rate available to each applicant depending on the individual or group applying and for community groups based on the type of project being applied for. Please note that applicants who are successful may not receive the maximum rate of aid sought, which will be decided upon by Monaghan Local Action Group.

Private applicant up to 50% Community applicant up to 75% or up to 90%* Economic theme to a maximum of €200,000 All other themes to a maximum of €500,000 Training Programmes up to 100%

Analysis and Development / Feasibility Studies (to a maximum of €30,000): Private applicant up to 75% Community applicant up to 90%*   The minimum grant rate payable is €2,500 and therefore the lowest amount that can be sought under Monaghan LEADER.   * 90% rate is only applicable if the community group meets a number of conditions including that there is no commercial basis for the project, the community group are non-profit distributing, separate from the state and that the proposed project fits under the Social Inclusion Theme only of the LDS.

In a change from the rolling application process that applied during previous LEADER programmes, under this programme there will be competitive Time Limited/Targeted Calls and Rolling Calls. 



What is the LEADER Programme?

The LEADER programme is funded under Ireland’s Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014-2020, which is supported under the “The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas” and by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and the Gaeltacht Affairs.  The aim of the programme is to develop and strengthen rural communities across Ireland and improve the overall quality of life for those living in them.  The acronym 'LEADER' derives from the French words "Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l'Économique Rurale" which means, 'Links between the rural economy and development actions'.

The allocation of LEADER funding for County Monaghan is €7.6 million for the duration of the programme, and Monaghan Local Action Group (LAG) have overall responsibility for the delivery of the Monaghan LEADER programme.  Monaghan Integrated Development GLC are the Implementing Partner and first point of contact for information and enquires about the programme, and Monaghan County Council are the Financial Partner.





What kind of projects can be funded by Monaghan LEADER?


Rural Tourism Develop new and existing tourism business Marketing and promotion activities Tourism Accommodation Festivals & Events Heritage tourism with potential to attract visitors   Small Business Renewable energy projects Feasibility studies for new business ideas and start-ups Social enterprise (includes communities) Creative sector, including crafts, ICT sector, design and media Artisan food & drink businesses and supports for development of clusters/networks   Rural Towns Town renewal schemes and restoration projects Develop multi-purpose community/arts infrastructure in towns Recreational spaces and tidy towns   Broadband Local actions that complement national initiatives Basic computer training to certain groups Skills development for installing broadband Feasibility studies and funding for small scale equipment   Basic Services in Hard to Reach Communities Develop and enhance community facilities for benefit of all the community Social inclusion and cultural integration community training programmes Community/social enterprise projects   Rural Youth Training initiatives to support life skills/preparation for employment Improve access to ICT for young people Youth development projects Develop youth facilities such as youth cafes, arts and recreational spaces

Protection & Sustainable Use of Water Resources Support water conservation awareness Specialist training programmes Community water improvement plans   Protection and Improvement of Local Biodiversity Actions to promote and protect biodiversity Nature networks Upgrading parks, river walks and habitats Restocking/replanting schemes for native species   Development of Renewable Energy Community energy audits and strategies Energy efficiency programmes for business and communities Energy conservation initiatives Small scale renewable energy projects   These examples are only a guide and by no means is the list exhaustive.  If your idea does not appear here, it does not mean that it is not eligible. Contact or telephone 042-9749500 for further information and assistance.