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GRD Leading the Way with LEADER

Galway Rural Development - Wednesday, July 12, 2017


Galway Rural Development is delighted to announce the commencement of LEADER in East Galway.

LEADER, the national rural development programme, will deliver some €250 million into rural towns and villages right across the country until 2020. With the selection of Galway Rural Development as the Local Action Group for LEADER, €7.6 million in vital funding for rural communities will be allocated within East Galway.

Galway Rural Development is aware that rural communities are eager to access this funding, for the benefit of local groups and organisations and is looking forward to working with those communities. With the opening of LEADER, expressions of interest for LEADER funding can be accepted. Completing an expression of interest form, allows staff to engage with potential applicants, determine the project details and advise upon the next steps. This new form also acts as a record for all LEADER queries.

Galway Rural Development has been delivering LEADER in Co. Galway since 1994. “We hope to build on the success of the previous LEADER programme, where over 300 local projects received funding from a programme of over €12 million”, added Delia Colahan, CEO of Galway Rural Development. “LEADER is now a smaller programme nationally, and there are changes to the programme such as targeted calls for specific projects, but we are committed to making this LEADER programme as successful as its predecessor and will work closely with our Supporting Partner Comhair na Oileain to ensure the greatest impact for our communities”. 

The Expression of Interest form is available from Galway Rural Development’s main office in Athenry at 091 844335, on its website at or email .

Significant changes for LEADER in East Galway 2014 -2020

The new LEADER programme 2014 – 2020 is quite different from previous LEADER programmes.  The main changes are;  

A More Targeted Approach

The new LEADER Programme will be much more targeted than in previous programmes due to the approximate 55% cut in funding from RDP 2007-2013.   In this regard projects will be assessed closely against the strategic actions of the Local Development Strategy (LDS) as well as national LEADER guidelines.    Additional criteria may also be put in place at local level when assessing projects to ensure funding is allocated where it is needed most e.g. areas / project promoters that have not accessed LEADER funding previously may be prioritised.

Time Specific  / Targeted Calls – a more competitive process

A more competitive process will be used to assess project applications for certain types of projects.  This means that a public call will be made for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) under specified themes and subthemes of the programme within a defined timeframe. Time specific / targeted calls will be widely publicised in local press and on GRD’s website.  

The purpose of time specific calls is to;

  • * Target funding where it delivers most value
  • * Award funding based on a comparative assessment
  • * Secure equal opportunities for all potential applicants
  • * Ensure funding is available for the duration of the programme


The Local Development Strategy (LDS) for East Galway was submitted to the Department 31st March 2017 for approval.  The Department has since approved this LDS. This LDS sets out the objectives and actions proposed for the new LEADER programme.  As per Department Guidelines there are three main themes for the LEADER programme which guided the strategy development.





The first step in applying for LEADER funding is to complete an Expression of Interest Form.  This form which details your proposed project will be reviewed against East Galway’s Local Development Strategy and the Operational Rules of the Programme which will determine if your project is eligible for funding and if you can advance to the next stage of the Application Process. Complete and submit your form, which you can get by clicking here:  Expression of Interest Form for LEADER 2014-20 and send it to GRD by:

Email:       or by post to: Galway Rural Development, Mellows Campus, Athenry, Co.Galway

The Operating Rules for the LEADER programme can be found here:    LEADER 2014 - 20 Operating Rules

Further information is available here: East Galway Local Development Strategy

Useful Links

·      Pobal LEADER Information

·      Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs LEADER Information  

Welcome to the Galway Rural Development website. Galway Rural Development, through the programmes we administer, will continue to work along with other agencies, groups and individuals around the county to improve the quality of life for all citizens in our area. We especially wish to work with those who are most in need of assistance, to provide real opportunities for people to gain significant improvements for themselves and their communities throughout rural Galway.

Funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.