Dublin Rural LEADER Grant Funding

We provide grant aid and support for rural Dublin projects

The main aim of LEADER is to strengthen the rural economy and to improve the quality of life in rural areas. Through focusing on the key principles of innovation, sustainability, social inclusion and economic viability and links with other organisations, LEADER can make a significant contribution to sustaining our rural economy, communities and environment, economic growth and job creation are essential to the growth of rural areas. Sustainable use of local and natural resources will improve the economic viability of rural areas in the long term.

Do you meet the criteria?

Funding Limits

LEADER funding is not intended for major projects and in general a ceiling of €200,000 grant-aid per project will apply. Exceptional community projects can qualify for a higher grant but require prior approval from the Department of Arts, Heritage, rural, Regional and Gaeltacht Affairs. The maximum grant amount for analysis and Development projects is €30,000.

Grant rates

Capital Investment

Community applicant up to 75%. Private applicant up to 50%

Analysis & Development

Community applicant up to 90%. Private applicant up to 75%


Up to 100% for both Private and Community

Rates of Aid – Private

The LAG may award funding under all themes and sub themes to a maximum of 50% of the total project cost. This percentage may be increased to 75% for analysis and development type projects and to 100% for training type projects. These are maximum rates of aid and the LAG may award lower rates of aid as it considers appropriate. The LAG will consider the rate of aid offered on a project-by-project basis.

Rates of Aid – Community Applicants

Higher maximum rates of aid may be applied for community-based projects where there is no commercial basis for the project as follows – community body or applicant – 75% community body or applicant under the basic services targeted at hard to reach communities sub-theme – 90%. [The use of this aid rate will be carefully monitored and the interpretation of this sub-theme will be strictly applied community body or applicant undertaking analysis and development – 90% and to 100% for training type projects.

De minimis
LEADER grant assistance is subject to the EU ‘de minimis’ rule which stipulates that aid to any one beneficiary must not exceed €200,000 from all grant-giving agencies over a three year period.  ‘De minimis’ does not apply to non-commercial community projects.
Eligible projects
The following investment operations are eligible for funding.

  1. Construction, acquisition or improvement of immovable property
  2. Purchase of new machinery and equipment up to the market value of the asset;
  3. General costs linked to expenditure, such as architect, engineer and consultation fees, fees relating to advice on environmental and economic sustainability, including feasibility studies. Feasibility studies shall remain eligible expenditure even where, based on their results, no expenditure under points (a) and (b) is made;
  4. Professional costs, such as the fees of architects, archaeologists, engineers and consultants, shall be eligible for funding up to a ceiling of 12% of the capital costs of such projects. This ceiling is the cumulative limit for all professional fees associated with a project and the percentage should vary depending on the work carried out. LAGs should encourage promoters, where feasible, to tender separately for professional costs rather than including as part of the overall works contract. Professional fees associated with a capital project e.g. an architect preparing plans for planning permission, are not eligible as a standalone project. In light of the level of complexity involved in these types of projects, the 12% limit on professional costs does not apply to heritage and environment projects.
  5. Professional costs are not permitted as a stand-alone project unless they come under the definition of analysis and development
  6. Intangible investments such as the acquisition or development of computer software and acquisitions of patents, licenses, copyrights, trademarks.
Eligible costs included
  • Capital/Construction;
  • Purchase of New Machinery & Equipment;
  • General Professional costs referred to in a&b relating to advice on environmental & economic sustainability (up to 12%)
  • Purchase & development of computer Software;
  • Training;
  • Analysis & Development;
  • Marketing and promotional costs associated with a specific project.
  • Hire of equipment deemed necessary to deliver a Project.
Projects not eligible
  • Agriculture;
  • Fisheries;
  • Conventional retail operations, excluding community based shops and farm shops selling locally produced produce;
  • Courses of instruction or training which form the part of normal education programmes or systems at secondary or higher levels. Note: This includes the rural development diploma and degree;
  • Loans;
  • Working capital (including stock);
  • Operational Costs of Project Promoters – salary/overheads etc
  • Insurance for project promoters;
  • Horticulture (including bee-keeping);
  • Payments for gifts, donations or personal entertainments;
  • Statutory fines and penalties, criminal fines and damages;
  • Legal expenses in respect of litigation;
  • Costs associated with meeting a legislative or statutory requirement;
  • Planning application fee;
  • Reclaimable VAT;
  • Improvements/refurbishment of private residential property;
  • Projects that already have other EU funding either directly or through a national programme;
  • Conventional motor vehicles, including cars, trailer to
    transport such vehicles, industrial/farm/construction vehicles, vans and buses;
  • General maintenance works of public bodies;
  • Childcare;
  • Health Care & Health Care equipment; – unless in exceptional cases where approved by the
  • Nursing homes;
  • Housing;
  • Race and sport horse industries (with the exception of ancillary activities for the provision of services to those industries).
  • Greyhound Industry


The Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020 is split into three themes that reflect the overarching needs of rural Ireland. An application must fit with one or more of the themes to be eligible. The themes reflect the key challenges facing rural Ireland, with regard to economic recovery, employment creation, tackling social exclusion and reducing the impact of global warming and resource depletion. Each theme contains a number of sub-themes, which are considered the key areas in need of the greatest support and have the greatest potential to promote the sustainable development of rural communities.

Learn more

Themes Budget Percentage
1. Economic Development
Rural Tourism 929,667
Enterprise Development 1,192,342
Rural Towns 266, 905
2. Social Inclusion
Provision of basic services targeted at ‘hard to reach’ communities 1,075,011
Rural Youth 119,4460
3. Rural Environment
Protection and sustainable use of water resources 299,168
Protection and improvement of local biodiversity 298,000
Development of renewable energy 597,289

Have you a project in mind?

Are you expanding your business, wishing to hire more staff, maybe you want to upskill? Don‘t be held back – Dublin Rural LEADER have €4.83 million to assist people like you to reach your full potential.

Is your project eligible?
Find out if your project meets the criteria
Discuss the project, eligibility and funding with the team
(01) 807 4282 (9am-5pm weekdays)