The Minister for Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys, has allocated a little more than €7 million to Westmeath as part of the first funding agreements for the delivery of the LEADER 2020 programme.
The LEADER funding will be provided to projects that are selected by local action groups, made up of local representatives from both the public and private sector. The money will fund projects across a range of areas, such as enterprise development, rural tourism, the enhancement of rural towns, and the provision of basic services for hard-to-reach communities.
The announcement has been welcomed by Fine Gael Deputy for Longford-Westmeath, Peter Burke, who says LEADER 2020 is a very important initiative for rural Ireland and is a key part of Ireland’s Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.
“In total, it will provide funding of €250 million to enterprises and community groups throughout rural Ireland,” Deputy Burke said. “As our economy recovers it is essential that the Government puts in place measures to revitalise rural Ireland, so that the benefits are felt in every community in Westmeath and across the country. This funding puts rural development back in the hands of local communities and empowers them to address their own development needs.”