Donegal Fianna Fáil TD Charlie McConalogue has called on the Minister for Rural & Community Development to follow through on his government’s commitment to allocate additional money to Donegal under the LEADER programme.

Deputy McConalogue explained, “The LEADER programme has been extremely successful in revitalising rural areas through community led schemes.  Between 2007-2013 more than €20m was invested in the county, but this has fallen to €12.9m under the current programme, which runs from 2014-2020.

“There are also huge issues with bureaucracy.  This government has added layers of unnecessary red tape to the LEADER application process, making it more arduous and cumbersome, which has ultimately resulted in fewer groups continuing with the process.  Those which do continue are left to wait an unacceptable length of time to get approval for essential projects.

“The Donegal Local Action Group has been working tirelessly to secure approval for key projects, with over €3.6 million already allocated to 87 projects across Donegal.  There are many more projects in the pipeline and it is important that additional funding is made available as promised”.