Midwest Radio

MEP concerned about slow progress being made under current LEADER programme

The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Heather Humpheys is meeting today with LEADER groups, as concerns are being expressed about the slow progress being made under the current LEADER programme.

In Co Mayo, LEADER funding was cut from almost 25 million euro in the last programme to just over 11 million in the current programme, which runs from 2014 to 2020.

However, in the first ten months of the current LEADER programme, not one project has been approved across the country, compared to payments of over 1.4 million in the first ten months of the last LEADER programme – that’s according to Midlands-Northwest MEP Marian Harkin.

The Independent MEP claims the introduction of more levels of bureaucracy is hampering the efforts of LEADER groups to approve projects, and she says the Government must have a more realistic approach to managing the programme, which has such a successful track record.

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