Press Release LEADER Funding Offaly

Offaly County Council welcomes the allocation of an additional €500,000 in funding to the Offaly LEADER Local Action Group (LAG) which is one of the top ten best performing LAGs in the country under the LEADER programme. The €.5m bonus allocation comes on top of the approved budget of €8m for the Offaly LEADER Programme 2014-2020.

Councillor Declan Harvey, Chair of the Offaly Local Community Development Committee, (LCDC) said: “This funding is fantastic news for communities and enterprises throughout Offaly, and is a welcome recognition of the impressive work carried out by Offaly LCDC. The funding will greatly benefit a variety of projects in many areas of Offaly who are looking to improve their communities through grant aid funding under the LEADER Programme.”

LEADER is delivered by 29 Local Actions Groups (LAGs) in Ireland whose role is to develop local strategies and to identify, select and fund projects in their counties which support their local strategies. Offaly LCDC is the contract holder for the Programme and Offaly Local Development Company is the Implementing Partner. CEO of Offaly Local Development Company, Brendan O’Loughlin, in welcoming the additional €500,000 LEADER funding said that “it is a testament to both the co-operation and work of Offaly Local Development Company, Offaly County Council, Offaly LCDC and to the communities and businesses that have brought projects forward to date.”

The bonus was announced on Monday by the Minister for Community and Rural Development Michael Ring. Nationally the top ten performing counties for Leader funding have been given a €5m boost, resulting in a top up payment of €.5m to each of these counties, including Offaly.

The selection of Offaly Leader LAG comes after a nationwide assessment of the level of funding approved and the level of funding drawn down in respect of projects on 20 September 2019, with the county assessed in eight place overall.

Anna Marie Delaney Chief Executive of Offaly County Council said “This extra funding will be put to good use in implementing the Local Development Strategy and is a strong endorsement of the performance of Offaly Local Community Development Committee.”

Announcing the allocation of the additional funding, Minister Ring said: “I am delighted to be in a position to provide additional funding to the top 10 areas where there is a strong demand for LEADER funding. I know that the extra funding will be of direct benefit to these communities receiving additional funding and will facilitate the approval of a higher number of LEADER projects in those areas. The ten best-performing groups will now be rewarded with €500,000 in extra funding to invest in rural communities in their counties.”