Minister Pat Carey announced that he is making available an initial allocation for 2011 of €40m under the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013.
Minister Carey stressed the potential of the Rural Development Programme to create sustainable employment in rural communities. The Minister urged Local Action Groups across the country to support projects that facilitate the creation of sustainable employment opportunities in their areas.
“I would urge all Local Action Groups to focus their energies on supporting projects that will bring jobs and real and sustainable growth to communities across rural Ireland. The availability of this initial €40m allocation for 2011 will allow Local Action Groups to commit to a range of new projects that will further develop and enhance the social and economic opportunities of rural areas.”
Mr. Carey, the Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, also announced that he intends to meet soon with representatives of Local Action Groups to discuss the progress of the LEADER elements of the Rural Development Programme. The Minister is calling this meeting to discuss best practice and emerging opportunities under the Programme and to address any difficulties that participants have encountered with the implementation of the Programme to date.
Funding of €425m is available over the lifetime of the Rural Development Programme.
The Rural Development Programme is co-funded by the Government and the European Union and is of vital importance to the regeneration of rural Ireland. Overall, the Rural Development Programme (RDP) for Ireland 2007-2013 has a budget of €5.778 billion over a 7-year period of which €2.339 billion will be funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and €3.438 billion by the national Exchequer.