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LEADER grant aid set to help deliver 72 new jobs in Wexford


Tom Bermingham, LEADER Programme Coordinator at Wexford Local Development.

Tom Bermingham, LEADER Programme Coordinator at Wexford Local Development.

Tom Bermingham, LEADER Programme Coordinator at Wexford Local Development.


LEADER, the rural development programme that is co-funded by the EU, estimates that around 72 jobs will be delivered in County Wexford by businesses that were approved for its grant aid in 2022.

Last year, LEADER allocated €730,000 between 14 businesses in the model county to enable expansion and diversification – among them established enterprises, start-ups and those with ideas for new ventures, and carrying out feasibility studies.

In Wexford, LEADER funding is delivered by the Wexford Local Community Development Committee in alliance with Wexford Local Development (WLD).

According to Tom Bermingham, LEADER Programme Coordinator at WLD, while some of these 72 new jobs have already been created, in most cases, they will be created over the coming year or two, as the grant-aided businesses expand due to the drawing down of the funding.

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To give a snaphot of some of the 14 businesses that are benefiiting from LEADER funding from 2022, these include niche food producers such as O’Neill Foods in Enniscorthy, Trudies Kitchen in New Ross, Scúp Gelato from Wexford and the start-up Nutorious Nutrition from Gorey.

Tourism enterprises and specialised engineering services from around the county were also allocated funding, including the new enterprise South East Greenway Bike Hire in New Ross, Pirates Cove in Courtown and Morris Manufacturing in Enniscorthy.

Meanwhile, LEADER funding also went towards six tourism-focused feasibility studies.

And while this grant aid is aiming to support the creation of 72 new jobs in the county, Mr Bermingham said it is also “sustaining” 133 existing jobs in the grant-aided businesses.

“These jobs have a significant impact on the local economy and prove the success of LEADER in improving the quality of life in rural areas,” he said.

Circa 20 of these new jobs will be in new start-ups to include the aforementioend Nutorious Nutrition, Heroic Foods, South East Greenway Bike Hire and Jardiners View, Mr Bermingham said.

Heroic Foods, based in Oulart, has just begun manufacturing a healthy alternative crisp product made from oats called ‘the Heroic Oat’. The company is preparing to launch the product in both the Irish and UK marketplace.

Mr Bermingham said the current LEADER budget, which commenced in 2016, is close to completion.

Public consultations will commence shortly to inform the strategy for a new LEADER programme due to commence later this year, and operating until 2027, he said.