Parliamentary question for the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Goverment (Phil Hogan TD)
For WRITTEN ANSWER on 17th of June 2014
To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government the proportion of the money allocated to the Leader programme under the rural development programme that will be allocated to County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Leader element of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 has an overall allocation of €250 million. The exact allocation per county will not be determined until after the Local Development Strategy selection process.
The draft Rural Development Programme will be submitted by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, the Managing Authority for the Programme, to the European Commission for consideration and approval in the coming weeks. Following this, my Department will conduct a two-stage process to select Local Development Strategies providing the opportunity to develop partnerships with full and comprehensive consultation thus maintaining the integrity of a Community Led Local Development approach.
My Department will issue an open call inviting all entities that meet the eligibility criteria to be considered as Local Action Groups (LAGs) to express an interest in being selected to develop Local Development Strategies (LDS) for the 2014-2020 Programme. The eligibility criteria will be drawn up in such a way to ensure that the best LAGs possible are selected to develop strategies including conformity with EU requirements in terms of LAG makeup, capacity to undertake the work and financial capacity to deliver the programme.
It is intended to select a single strategy in each area and therefore in cases where more than one strategy is submitted the groups involved will be asked to come together in partnership to jointly prepare and agree a single strategy in order to ensure that the most comprehensive and coherent strategies come forward for consideration and approval by my Department. I expect that the programme will be operational in early 2015. Once the LDs are submitted to my Department, they will be reviewed by an Evaluation Committee, on foot of which allocations will be recommended.