What is LEADER?

The LEADER programme has been operating in Ireland and across EU Member States since its commencement in 1991 as an experimental rural development programme. LEADER has evolved through successive programming periods to become a key intervention within EU rural development policy. It forms an integral part of the EU funding framework, delivered through national rural development programmes of each Member State. 

LEADER is a community-led approach to local development funded through Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan 2023 – 2027 (the Programme). It is financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and connected to Specific Objective 8 of the CAP Strategic Plan (CSP): Vibrant Rural Areas – promote employment, growth, gender equality, including the participation of women in farming, social inclusion and local development in rural areas, including the circular bio-economy and sustainable forestry. 

It supports locally identified initiatives (at local or sub-regional level) that seek to address locally identified needs and challenges. It is delivered by a network of Local Action Groups (or LAGs), which have been selected to implement Local Development Strategies (LDS) for their respective sub-regional areas.

What is the purpose of LEADER?

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.

For further information on LEADER see:



How does Dublin Rural LEADER Operate?

Dublin Rural LEADER provides funding to enterprises and community groups throughout the rural areas of Fingal, South Dublin County and Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown for projects that are selected by the Local Action Group (LAG). The Dublin LAG consists of local representatives across the three local authority areas from both the public and private sector. Dublin Local Action Group has the overall responsibility for the delivery of the Dublin Rural LEADER programme.

Fingal LEADER Partnership CLG are the Implementing Partner and first point of contact for information and enquiries about the programme and Fingal County Council is the Financial Partner.

Who can avail of the LEADER Programme?

The Dublin Rural LEADER programme provides funding for projects across rural Dublin that promote social inclusion, develop the local economy through enterprise and tourism, and protect the environment.

It supports locally identified initiatives (at local or sub-regional level) that seek to address locally identified needs and challenges.

Applicants must be located in the Rural Dublin area, and can include individuals, rural businesses, farmers or farm families, community & voluntary groups, social enterprises or cooperative societies.

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