Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell has said that funding for Fingal LEADER Partnership can now be accessed for rural economic development via a €90 million fund, announced by Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan today in the Dáil.
“Fingal LEADER Partnership has been playing a vital role supporting economic activity in Fingal’s rural areas by investing in non-agricultural activities for farming families.
“There have been many worthy projects waiting in the pipeline that had been approved as part of this programme but unable to get off the ground due to a freeze in funding after a decision by the European Commission to change co-funding policy which resulted in a nationwide review of the entire structure.
“I am delighted that the result of this review has led to a centralised significant fund of €90 million for LEADER programmes, of which Fingal LEADER will now be able to access in order to continue its role in community economic development.
Balbriggan native and Fingal LEADER Board member Jean Fay Brady has been campaigning for the continuation of this programme for some time. “We’ve had a long and anxious wait for this news, and we are delighted that we can now give the green light to projects that have been parked until now.
“We will be calling an emergency meeting of the board so that we can review all the new applications that are looking for funding, in order to maximise on the monies that have been made available.
Outlining the plan for the €90 million fund, Deputy Farrell stated that “almost half of this €90 million fund is earmarked for projects that have already been approved nationwide. The remainder will be allocated to programmes such as the Fingal LEADER over the next two years in order to continue to fund local enterprise in rural communities.”