Fine Gael TD for Longford/Westmeath, Gabrielle McFadden, has welcomed funding packages for Longford of €7.6m (€7,597,623.07) and €7.38m (€7,384,206.22) for Westmeath as part of the LEADER element of the Rural Development Programme, announced by the Government.
“The economic recovery is underway and the Government is determined that the recovery is felt in every corner of Ireland. A total investment of €15m in the LEADER programmes in Longford and Westmeath is of huge significance.
“The LEADER programme is all about community led projects; it is focused on making the recovery local. Once approval for the programme has been given by the European Commission, Local Action Groups in both counties will be invited to submit ideas for how funding should be spent. These groups will be set up in accordance with the EU Regulations and will consist of representatives across public and private socio-economic interests.
“I know in Longford and Westmeath, there are any number of projects where funding is needed and will be of huge benefit. We are committed to empowering rural Ireland, to giving the local people the opportunity to identify where the LEADER programme funding should go and in controlling the allocation at a local level.
“Due to the new Local Government Reform Act 2014, this money will be controlled at a local level and therefore the allocation of resources will be much more targeted, cost effective and efficient. Streamlining operations at a local level should maximise the funding available to support important projects and the local communities in the two counties.
“Employment is growing in every region in Ireland. We plan to continue the progress by enabling businesses to create 40,000 this year and aim to restore full employment by 2018. This LEADER funding is a further commitment our goal of securing the recovery in all areas of Ireland.”