ESTABLISHED in 1991, the Leader (Liaisons entre actions de developpement de l'économie rurale) programme is designed to deliver rural development aid across EU member states.
Some 36 companies across the country decide if projects should be approved, and €100m has been spent since 2007.
Among the projects open to consideration include establishing businesses, community projects, tourist activities, training, construction costs or marketing. Maximum grants of €150,000 can be paid out. The current programme runs until this year, but projects approved by this date can draw down funding up to 2015.
The Mayo Leader company has not been allowed award funding to any new projects since March last year when a formal complaint was made to the Department of the Environment about how it conducted its business.
However, money continues to be paid to projects already approved before this date, and €2.7m has been disbursed since 2007.