Groups interested in applying for LEADER funding under the 2023-2027 LEADER programme have until 5:30pm on 16 December to submit an expression of interest.

Groups which are deemed successful at this stage will be provided with funding to assist with the costs associated with developing a Local Development Strategy in stage two of the process.

A fund of €2m has been ring fenced for this purpose and it is expected that funding will begin to be allocated in early 2023.

The LEADER 2023-2027 Programme has a funding allocation of some €180m. This follows on from €70m in transitional funding being made available in 2021-2022 under transitional arrangements to bridge the gap until the new CAP comes into place on 1 January 2023.

The LEADER Programme is managed by the Department of Rural and Community Development.

It supports projects across a wide range of areas that provide a rural benefit. Examples of these include rural tourism, enterprise development, broadband, basic services targeted at hard-to-reach communities, rural youth, protection and sustainable use of water resources, local biodiversity and renewable energy.

The programme is administered at a local level by 29 local action groups. These groups contain local representatives from the respective communities, along with representatives from the public and private sectors.

Each group is responsible for awarding funding within their own geographical area. Table 1 details the funding allocation in 28 sub-regional areas.

Cork is split into three sub regions and this makes up the 28 areas.

Further information can be found here.

This includes an information webinar which took place at the start of November, guidance documents and the application forms.