CEO, Longford Community Resources Ltd (LCRL) Adrian Greene has advised community groups across the county to continue “doing what they are doing” despite the fact that LEADER Funding has been frozen at Government level.
The Leader has learned that the Department placed an embargo on the funding on February 7 last, however it only emerged during a joint meeting of Longford Co Council and Longford Town Council members last Wednesday night at local authority headquarters on Great Water Street, after Cllr Luie McEntire (FF) asked CEO, Co Longford Enterprise Board, Michael Nevin to clarify “rumours” he had heard the previous week that suggested “there was a problem with LEADER Funding in Co Longford”.
Mr Nevin informed the meeting that the funding had been embargoed for the last eight weeks and Mr Greene of LCRL has since confirmed that 70 projects in Co Longford are affected by the embargo at this stage.
“We are continuing to deal with all applications for funding, however at the moment and because of the embargo, we are unable to process the applications at board level,” Mr Greene added.
“We have 70 applications at various stages in LCRL at present, but until the embargo is lifted, we will not be able to go any further with them at board level.”
Asked if the department had indicated when the embargo would be lifted, Mr Greene pointed out that he had not been been advised of a definite date on the matter. “Naturally all this is very frustrating, and we are trying to continue as normal,” he added. “I have been in touch with the department myself and it is hoped that the embargo on LEADER Funding will be lifted soon.
At the moment we at LCRL are working very hard to bring the projects that we have forward at board level. I want to point out at this stage that community groups across this county should continue with all the great work that they are doing and keep submitting projects, because I would be hopeful that the embargo on the funding will be lifted shortly.”
LEADER was designed as a community based funding initiative to which projects suggested and driven by the community and local enterprises would be provided with finance. It provides for grant aid support to eligible projects approved by the LCRL Board here in Co Longford and favours innovation in both enterprise and community based initiatives.