Six counties are to receive over €10m each in LEADER allocations under the Rural Development Programme (RDP) Ministers Alan Kelly and Ann Phelan have announced.

Co. Cork, Donegal, Co. Galway, Mayo, Kerry and Tipperary (in that order) are the counties receiving the most amount of money from the €220m allocation to be implemented by local action groups.

Co. Cork €13,938,823.22

Donegal €12,913,877.86

Co. Galway €12,195,883.61

Mayo €11,121,431.88

Kerry €10,219,868.29

Tipperary €10,103,443.28

Kildare is the county receiving the least amount of money €5,261,600.01

It was announced in Budget 2015 that overall €250m will be allocated towards the LEADER elements of the RDP. An additional €15m will be allocated to two agri-food measures managed jointly by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the two Ministers said.

They also said that a further €10m will be used to support co-operation projects over the lifetime of the programme with a particular emphasis on cross-border initiatives, which will be coordinated by the Department of the Environment.

“The final €5m will be held in reserve to potentially support a more extensive Rural Economic Development Zones project should the pilot initiative recommended by the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Area prove successful,” the Ministers announced.

LEADER funding will be used to support sustainable economic development projects for rural communities ranging from tourism, agri-food and other business activities.

“This money will be targeted at tackling social inclusion, rural isolation as well as increasing the capacity of rural communities to participate in economic development. The exact nature of the projects chosen will be based on ideas that emerge from the communities themselves,” a joint statement from both Ministers said.

It was also announced that an expression of interests process in LEADER projects will begin shortly.