The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD has signed the first batch of Funding Agreements under the LEADER Programme 2020. The Minister said the €250 million programme will support hundreds of jobs across rural Ireland.
Included is €8,036,763.90 in funding for programmes in Offaly. That figure compares well with neighbouring counties as Laois will receive €7,124,586.86 and Westmeath will receive €7,384,206.22.
Funding of €250 million will be distributed to entrepreneurs and community groups throughout Ireland by the Local Action Groups, which are made up of public and private representatives.
The LEADER programme funds projects under a diverse range of themes that include enterprise development, rural tourism, social inclusion and the environment. The programme is co-financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
The previous LEADER programme delivered almost 10,000 projects throughout rural Ireland. In addition to supporting community-based projects, last year LEADER funding supported over 800 enterprises and 500 jobs.