Enhanced concentration on enterprise support in RDP will drive recovery process in rural areas
Extra allocation of €10 million assigned to Basic Services
Rate of aid for private promoters will increase from 50% to 75%
Phil Hogan, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government announced today (25th April, 2012) a number of changes to the LEADER elements of the Rural Development Programme that will see increased availability of funding for both private promoters and community groups in rural Ireland. The enhanced concentration on enterprise support in RDP will drive the recovery process in rural areas.
The current rate of aid for private promoters under the RDP is 50%, the changes being announced today include an increase in this rate to 75%. This change will go some way to address the difficulties being experienced in accessing credit in the current economic climate and will provide an increased level of support for rural entrepreneurs in Ireland. A reallocation within the programme will reassign an extra €10 million to the Basic Services measure of the RDP which, while almost fully allocated, still has significant potential. Local Authorities will now be permitted to apply directly to the RDP for funding working in cooperation with community groups. Local Authorities will be eligible to apply for the community rate of aid of 75% under the Village Renewal and Conservation measures of the Programme.
Announcing the changes to the RDP Minister Hogan said:
“The LEADER elements of the Rural Development Programme continue to provide significant financial resources to rural Ireland and it is my responsibility to ensure that the programme is delivered efficiently and effectively. In this context the changes being announced today will provide some of the solutions to the issues and challenges faced on a daily basis by Local Development Companies delivering the RDP. I am confident that these changes will give the LDCs more flexibility to increase the amount of support available to a variety of projects involving both communities and private individuals. ”
“With an annual budget of €96 million for 2012 it is critically important that the 35 Local Development Companies, rural entrepreneurs and community groups all over Ireland continue to look to the LEADER elements of the RDP to provide the financial support necessary to drive their projects forward. This kind of community led local development is already providing and I have no doubt, will continue to provide the solid community foundation required to support Irelands recovery process into the future”
The Minister added, “I should stress that although we will go ahead with these changes immediately they are still subject to final approval from the European Commission.“ Anyone wishing to inquire about this funding should contact their Local Development Company; contact details for all companies contracted to deliver the RDP in Ireland can be found on my Department’s website at www.environ.ie ”.