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Galway’s Local Development Companies—including Forum Connemara, Comhar na nOileáin Teo and Galway Rural Development—will be able to continue with Leader projects across Galway with the news that €42 million is to be made available immediately by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government.

The €42 million for projects across the country is part of an overall total of €90 million which has been secured to safeguard and maximise the positive impact of the Leader Programme on rural communities.

Galway West TD, Sean Kyne said he was delighted that the Leader Programme had been boosted by additional funding and that Galway’s Local Development Companies would now be able to release funding to projects which are all ready to begin.

“I had raised this issue with Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan following concerns from local community groups in accessing funds.”

“The Minister confirmed to me that the issue had been resolved and that there will now commence a two-week period in which Local Development Companies will be requested to confirm the projects which are ready to proceed. Once confirmation has been received the authorisation for the projects will be granted by the Minister and funded out of the €42 million which as been made available.”

“In effect this means that Galway community groups who are ready to proceed with projects will be able to access the funding within a matter of weeks.”

“The Leader Programme is vital in stimulating economic activity and job creation and helps to support sustainable rural communities.  Minister Hogan is to be commenced in securing additional funding at a time of great pressure on State finances.”

“I would urge Galway’s Local Development Companies to confirm the applications which are ready to proceed with the Department as soon as requested so that the funding for projects across our county can be released without delay” concluded Deputy Kyne.