Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Changes to LEADER grant system outlined

Changes in the application and decision processes for LEADER grants were outlined at a meeting in Kilcullen last night, writes Brian Byrne.

At an information evening in the Parish Centre, Brian Kelly of the County Kildare Leader Partnership noted that a new independent group within Kildare County Council now has responsibility for delivering the LEADER 2014-2020 programme.

This is the Kildare Local Community Development Committee (LCDC), which now has the decision-making powers on applications for grant aid. The CKLP is now designated as the Implementing Partner for the programme.

A new two-stage process for applications is also in place, using time-specific ‘targeted calls’ for Expressions of Interest from qualifiable enterprises and community groups. From such EOIs, a number will be invited to go to the Applications stage, though this is not a guarantee that they will get funding.

It now takes longer to get grant approval, about eight months from EOI to final approval, Brian Kelly said, adding that there are now two Departmental oversight checks on applications as well as the LCDC decision process.

Successful applicants will have six months to complete their project under the new system, though extensions can be agreed in three-month blocks if necessary.

Last night’s meeting was in relation to the current call for EOIs in research and capacity building support for Micro/SME and Social Enterprise projects, and for increasing employment in Renewable Energy businesses.

The EOIs will have to be in with the CKLP by 15 May and further information is available from