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Written Answers - Community Development

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 762 No. 1

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 148.  Deputy Brendan Smith Information on Brendan Smith Zoom on Brendan Smith  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  if he proposes to increase the upper limit for grant aid for community projects to be funded under the Leader programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19665/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan Axes 3 & 4 (LEADER) of the Rural Development Programme (RDP), for which my Department has responsibility, continues to facilitate access to significant financial resources for rural communities. In general, the rates of grant aid available under the measures of the RDP are 50% for private promoters and 75% for Community promoters with some higher rates available for specific activities such as Training (100%) and Analysis and Development (90%). In the current economic climate, it has been difficult for private individuals and community groups to obtain the matched funding required to avail of this support level, particularly for larger projects.

As part of a suite of measures to address these and other issues relating to the delivery of the RDP my Department has recently submitted a number of proposals to the European Commission which if agreed will allow a number of changes to the operation of the programme. These proposals include increases to the maximum rates of aid available to private and community promoters. The decision of the European Commission is awaited.

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