Public to be briefed on RDP

The Titanic Memorial in Ennybegs benefited from the last tranche of LEADER funding.
A series of public meetings is to take place over the coming weeks to inform the wider public of the estimated €7.5m Longford looks set to receive under a new Rural Development Programme.

A series of public meetings is to take place over the coming weeks to inform the wider public of the estimated €7.5m Longford looks set to receive under a new Rural Development Programme.

More than €220m has been allocated to individual counties for the purposes of the implementation of the Leader part of the programme.

Known more commonly as the LEADER programme designed to tackle rural isolation, generate employment and stimulate village renewal, This phase of the RDP will be implemented between now and 2020.

Adrian Greene of LCRL said work on the first phase of the new initiative was already underway.

“Approximately 500 letters have been forwarded to individuals, community groups, networks, organisations and agencies as part of the consultation process to support the develop a Local Development Strategy for the implementation and delivery of the next LEADER programme,” he said.

That’s in addition to a number of focus groups on various topics relevant to the programme also being held alongside six public consultation meetings.

The first of those takes place next Tuesday in Granard, followed by similar gatherings in Ballymahon (September 16), Longford (September 17), Edgeworthstown (September 22), Lanesboro (September 23) and Drumlish (September 24).

Longford’s anticipated allocation of almost €7.6m is below the €8.71m it received in 2009 as part of the 2007-2013 programme.

According to Mr Greene however, the reduction will not jeopardise what has become one of Longford’s key drivers of socio-economic enhancement.

“The LEADER Programme is and always has been a bottom up programme where individuals and communities identify needs in their area and potential ways to address these needs for the betterment of the their own locality and the county as a whole,” he said.