Rural Development Programme 2014-2020

Rural Development Programme (LEADER) 2014-2020



The LEADER programme has been supporting communities and business in County Kildare for almost 20 years.  Under the Rural Development Programme 2007-2014, 232 projects were supported with €8.2 million in LEADER grant aid.  The projects supported have ranged in size from small projects to large flagship projects in a diverse range of sectors. Sectoral areas supported were primarily farm diversification, enterprise, rural tourism, heritage, town and village renewal,community facilities and amenities, renewable energy and environmental projects.
The LEADER Initiative (Liaisons Entre Actions de Developement de l’Economie Rurale) was established by the European Commission in 1991 and was designed to aid the development of sustainable rural communities following the reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy.  Highly successful, it operates across the European Union and in all rural areas of Ireland.  LEADER is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Irish Exchequer. The Department of Rural and Community Development is the national programme manager for LEADER.

The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas.

Download our Guide to LEADER in Co. Kildare

Download an Expression of Interest Form

View the LEADER Guide to Climate Change 

Programme Themes

The focus of the LEADER Programme (2014-2020) is “To promote social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas”. The following programme themes and subthemes will be targeted under the programme.  These are taken from the national themes and subthemes of the LEADER programme 2014-2020. The programme cross-cutting objectives are Innovation, Environment and Climate Change.

Click  HERE to access the Local Development Strategy for the Rural Development Programme.
Significant changes for LEADER in Kildare 2014-2020
The new LEADER programme 2014-2020 is quite different from previous LEADER programmes. These changes affect the decision-making process, and the application procedure.

Decision making

Kildare Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) has the responsibility for the delivery of LEADER 2014-2020. The LCDC is now the decision-making body in respect of the new LEADER programme.  The LCDC is an independent committee established under Kildare County Council.  This is a new procedure and is different from previous LEADER Programmes. County Kildare Leader Partnership is the Implementing Partner for the new Programme, and Kildare County council is the financial partner.

Application Process

The new programme will have both rolling and targeted calls. Targeted calls will occur once per year and have an application deadline. Targeted calls for proposals are time specific and all projects under a particular category must be processed, evaluated and decisions made on a collective basis.  There is no first come first served option under targeted calls for proposals.
All applications whether under a rolling or targeted call go through a two stage process:

Stage 1:  Expressions of Interest

All applicants must complete an Expression of Interest Form (EOI) for each project.  If your Expression of Interest form is deemed eligible in principle, you will then be given an application form and invited to submit your application for LEADER funding.

Stage 2:  Application Stage

EOIs deemed eligible will be invited to submit a full application and we will work with eligible potential applications to guide them through the process.  Invitation to application stage does not mean that you will be awarded grant aid as it is a competitive process.
Scroll down for LEADER Videos from The National Rural Network


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