Frustration levels rising as LEADER still not being rolled out – Smyth

illegal dumping 1– Only 3 projects approved across Cavan and Monaghan to date –

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth says LEADER companies across Cavan and Monaghan are becoming increasingly frustrated with the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs for its failure to allocate funding to LEADER projects.

It’s more than 3 years on from the launch of the latest round of the LEADER programme, and despite the fact that there have been more than 300 applications for funding, only 3 projects have been approved.

Deputy Smyth commented, “The LEADER programme has become a bureaucratic nightmare, which has resulted in a painstakingly slow approval system and a lack of funding for projects across the two counties.

“I have been contacted by a number of LEADER companies who are extremely frustrated with the lack of funding approvals to date.  All of these groups have drawn up and lodged plans detailing their projects, with many having spent a substantial amount of time and money on these applications.

“There are communities in Cavan and Monaghan which are dependent on services that are rolled out by the LEADER programme.  The fact that these companies are still waiting for their approval and funding three years after the latest scheme was launched is disgraceful and these communities are suffering.  The Department has serious questions to answer about the amount of time it is taking for these projects to be approved.

“I am urging the Minister to take control of the situation to ensure that this process is expedited so that this essential funding can be drawn down and these important projects can get underway”.

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