Tuesday 20 November 2018

Leader funding will finally begin to flow in North Cork

Contracts to the value of €468,000 signed

Maria Herlihy

Contracts to the value of just shy of €500,000 in Leader Projects have been signed by Cork County Council.

The first contract to be signed in the County was by Avondhu/Blackwater Development Partnership CLG for the construction of and commissioning of a specialised cheese dairy at Bo Rua Farm, Ballynoe which fell under the LEADER theme of Enterprise Development. This will enable them to scale up and commercialise their farmhouse cheese utilising the Dineen family farm Montbeliarde cows whose milk is used in traditional French cheese production.

Other projects include the development of playgrounds in Inniscarra Community Centre, Grenagh and Innishannon plus a project involving the erection of street name plates in Dunmanway. Chairman of the North Cork LDC, Cllr Gerard Murphy (FG) said he is "very pleased" that at last works will commence on projects throughout the region. 

The county mayor, Cllr. Declan Hurley said: "Cork County Council is delighted to be associated with these projects which will benefit communities and play a role in job creation."

There are also  24 projects to the value of approximately €1m approved by the Local Action Groups (LAGs) of North/South & West Cork which are going through the final steps prior to issuing contracts. 

Tim Lucey, chief executive of Cork County Council said: "The LEADER programme is a European Union initiative to support rural development projects initiated at the local level in order to revitalise rural areas and create jobs. Overseen by the Department of Rural & Community Development, funding to the value of €13.93m has been allocated to Cork county over the five year period." 

Regarding the funding, North will receive  €5,091,845; South  €3,831,303 and West: €5,015,674. Decisions on LEADER funding are made at a local level by the three Local Action Groups (LAG) North, South & West Cork which are a sub group of the Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs). Cork County Council are the financial partners with the Department of Rural & Community Development for this programme.  A Local Development Strategy forms the framework for decision making.

The programme is implemented on the ground by six 'implementing partners, namely: Avondhu/Blackwater Partnership CLG, SECAD Partnership CLG, Comhar na nOileán CTR, IRD Duhallow CLG, Ballyhoura Development CLG and Údarás Na Gaeltachta. 

The LEADER programme launched in Cork in December 2016, with invitations for expressions of interest. A total of 469 expressions of interest have been received up to end of November 2017, with a combined value of €17,436,018,