“LEADER funding must be maintained at current levels” – MacManus meets Cavan County Local Development Company
Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has called for LEADER funding to be maintained at current levels, as part of Ireland’s CAP (Common Agriculture Policy) Strategic Plan. The Midlands Northwest MEP was speaking after meeting with Cavan County Local Development alongside his party colleague Pauline Tully TD, who have responsibility for the delivery of the LEADER programme throughout County Cavan.
“Local development strategies are more effective and efficient if decided and implemented at grassroots level. LEADER funding supports a ‘bottom-up’ approach to bring about positive change in rural areas through training and up-skilling in communities and in supporting individuals and community groups to access the required funds for their development projects.”
“This provides rural individuals and community groups with greater decision-making responsibilities around the future development and direction of their local area. It helps to revitalise rural society by creating greater employment opportunities at local level and builds strong social cohesion and collaboration within rural communities.”
“LEADER has benefited countless individuals and groups in almost every town and village across Ireland. It is a hugely important programme for our rural communities, many of which would be lacking in basic facilities without it.”
The Midlands Northwest MEP praised the work of Cavan CLD, “I was delighted to visit Cavan County Local Development last week and hear about the positive impact of LEADER and other EU funding programmes in the local area. I would like to commend them for their excellent work in supporting local communities through these programmes.”
MacManus concluded by calling on the government to ensure protection for the LEADER programme budget. “LEADER’s funding is set as a percentage of the Pillar II CAP budget. Despite cuts to the CAP budget at EU level, I am calling on the Irish Government to ensure LEADER is not negatively impacted, this is fully possible within the current rules. It is simply too important for our rural communities and groups like the Cavan County Local Development to be reduced.” ENDS
Pictured are (L-R): Pauline Tully TD, Terry Hyland (CEO Cavan County Local Development), Helen O’Reilly (Chair of Cavan County Local Development), Chris MacManus MEP