The National Rural Network (NRN) is calling on the public to vote for their favourite LEADER-funded projects as part of a national campaign celebrating the impact of the LEADER programme (2014-2020).

Over 30 LEADER-funded projects have submitted short videos in three thematic categories: Economic Development, Enterprise Development and Job Creation; Social Inclusion; and Rural Environment.

The public are invited to vote for their favourite projects on the NRN’s website until November 23.

The project with the most votes in each category will be showcased nationally and internationally by the NRN.

The winners will also each receive a One for All Gift Voucher to the value of €200.

What is the LEADER programme?

The EU’s LEADER programme was set up in 1991 to provide grants to rural Ireland to support economic and social development through community-led local initiatives.

Funded through Ireland’s Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014-2020, the current LEADER programme budget provides €250 million in financial grant aid which is 7% of the overall RDP.

The projects featured in the campaign reflect the variety of projects funded through the programme, including rural businesses; arts projects; community facilities; and rural tourism projects.

Commenting on the NRN LEADER Impact Campaign, director of the NRN Séamus Boland said: “The LEADER programme is having a transformative impact in rural communities across Ireland.

This campaign celebrates some of the many success stories from the current programme. We encourage the public to engage with these stories, and we hope that they will inspire other communities to go on a similar journey.

Voting for community projects closes on Monday, November 23, at 5:00pm.