Better basics Reading Programme

January 2018 has seen the commencement of a new phase of a reading support programme called, Better Basics, in  County Kildare.

The programmes harnesses volunteers from the local community who give their time during school hours, to spend some time with children who need to practice their reading. Better Basics uses a structured methodology which is focused on supporting the child develop independent reading strategies, that they will have honed over the duration of the programme and carry with them as they progress in their education. In total there are 6 schools, 61 children and 25 volunteers participating in the programme. The participating schools are; Scoil Mhichil Naofa Athy, Scoil an Linbh Iosa Naas, St. Patrick’s Celbridge, Scoil Namoh Phadraig Curragh, Curragh Girls School, St. Bridget’s Kildare Town.

The programme will run from January until May in the participating schools. The programme is a collaboration between County Kildare LEADER Partnership and Kildare Library and Arts Service.

For further information contact Aine on 086 0414223 or email


Below are a few photos from the Better Basic Celebration 2017….


First signing of the first contracts for LEADER funding!


Kildare Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) and County Kildare LEADER Partnership are pleased to announce the signing of the first contracts for LEADER funding under the current programme. The projects are the result of a call for expressions of interest for Rural Tourism Projects.

Building on the success of Athy Boat Tours, Athy Enterprise Centre CLG has been approved for LEADER funding towards Canadian Canoes, bicycles and safety equipment, launching in time for the 2018 summer season.  This project comes as interest in outdoor tourism activities surges.  Visitors to South Kildare will enjoy new ways to enjoy the local environs and waterways.

Helen Dowling, Manager of Athy Enterprise Centre said “we are delighted to add an innovative new tourism product and new activities in the area and to build on the success of the Athy Boat Tours inititative.

Athy Heritage Centre Museum is to become a specialist Shackleton Museum. A dedicated space is needed to showcase Shackleton’s “sea bedroom”. The cabin was originally part of the Norwegian schooner-rigged steamship, Quest, which Shackleton had acquired for his final voyage to try and clear his debts. The cabin was donated to the museum and transported from Norway. It underwent careful restoration in Letterfrack and is now stored there.

The museum has been approved for LEADER funding to carry out a feasibility study for the overall redevelopment of this key attraction in the heart of the town.

Margaret Walsh, Manager of Athy Heritage Centre, said “we are delighted that our project has been approved for LEADER funding, this is the real starting point of the redevelopment of the Shackleton Museum and is a blueprint for the expansion and enhancement of the Heritage Centre going forward.

These projects are paving the way for more LEADER Tourism and Enterprise applications which will be approved in January and throughout 2018.  Brian Kelly, Rural Development Manager with County Kildare LEADER Partnership, commented “signing the first contracts is an important milestone for the programme. This is a completely LEADER new programme with new staff, a new ICT system and new operating rules. A lot of work has happened in the background to get to this stage.”

On the work in progress Brian commented “There has been great interest in the programme over the past number of months and we have been working with very diverse projects to date including community groups, clubs and small businesses. From our 2017 calls we are working with fourteen projects from around the County all at various stages with seven projects going forward for approval in January.   We have had a huge expression of interest under our recent call for Community & Youth based projects and bio-diversity, water resources and broadband. We also have a further call opening in March for enterprise and tourism projects.

The funding timeline has been in the media recently.  The LEADER Programme requires very high standards in compliance and oversight. “We are committed to best practice in Kildare as we are dealing with public funds. The role of the LCDC and County Kildare LEADER Partnership is very important in that task. We stand over the transparency and fairness of the process. The result is investment in sustainable and viable projects. We believe that this is in the best interests of communities.”

The LEADER programme has been supporting communities and business in County Kildare for over 20 years.  Under the Rural Development Programme 2007-2014, 232 projects were supported with €8.2 million in LEADER grant aid.  Projects supported have ranged in size from small to large flagship projects. Sectors supported include farm diversification, enterprise, rural tourism, heritage, town and village renewal, community facilities and amenities, renewable energy and environmental projects.


For further information on the Rural Development Programme contact us on 045 895450.


JOB OPPORTUNITY – Social Enterprise Coordinator (CE Supervisor)

County Kildare LEADER Partnership:
Social Enterprise Coordinator (CE Supervisor)

County Kildare LEADER Partnership is a Local Development Company funded under the Social Inclusion & Community Activation Programme (SICAP) and under the Community Employment Programme funded through the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

County Kildare LEADER Partnership is seeking a Social Enterprise Coordinator to support community and voluntary groups engaged in or interested in developing social enterprises with an emphasis on supporting disadvantaged areas targeted under the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP).

Social Enterprise Coordinator: The successful candidate will have a relevant qualification and at least two years’ experience of working with unemployed people and voluntary groups in a paid capacity. S/he will possess a good knowledge of the potential for social enterprise in County Kildare, have excellent interpersonal / communication and administration skills, have an ability to work on their own initiative and with relevant agencies in County Kildare. A Train the Trainer qualification and /or CE Supervisor training would be desirable.

Salary will be on CE Supervisor scale commensurate with qualifications and experience

This is a full time position (39 hours) with a fixed term twelve month contract.

Salary for this position will be negotiable subject to relevant experience.

For full Job Description please email

Application should be submitted by post to:

The General / Social Inclusion Manager,
County Kildare LEADER Partnership,
Co. Kildare.

Closing date for receipt of applications: Thursday 18th January 2018 at 5pm. with interviews planned for week ending 26th January 2018.

County Kildare LEADER Partnership is an Equal Opportunities Employer.

1 14 15 16 17 Page 16 of 17