Theme 1

Economic Development

Theme one focuses on driving continued local economic development, including diversification of the rural economy and the creation of employment opportunities for the local community, including those from disadvantaged groups. This will be done through the sub themes listed below.


Rural Tourism

Skerries windmill on top of grass hill with stone building in foreground

Rural tourism provides a stimulus for enterprise and job creation. Tourism tends to exploit particular assets that are generally place-specific, for example, landscape and history. Accordingly, it offers significant potential, even in peripheral areas. Interventions under this sub-theme should focus on actions that have the potential to make the area more attractive for local, national and foreign visitors.

Examples of actions that may be supported include –

  • Feasibility studies to explore the tourism potential of an area;
  • Marketing initiatives;
  • The creation of tourism hubs to facilitate a multi-sectoral approach,
  • Activities that centre on the development and renovation of infrastructure, which contribute to historic and heritage based tourism. In exceptional circumstances, and in consultation with the Department, this may include private dwellings where this can be shown to contribute to historic and heritage based tourism

LEADER supported tourism projects must comply with relevant Fáilte Ireland or other sectoral standards such as planning permission etc.

Strategic actions

The following actions were identified through consultation process and presented via the Local Development Strategy:

Rural Tourism. Local Objective 1

Strengthen rural Dublin`s tourism offering through people, product and place in harmony with its unique rural environments.
Financial allocation: (€) 929,667 Number of Strategic actions: 5

Strategic Action 1

Training, animation and Capacity Building to strengthen the tourism industry and economy in Dublin Rural region.

Strategic Action 2

Develop and promote outdoor recreation activities including walking/hiking/cycling routes, heritage trails and destination tourism ensuring critical mass of product in area.

Strategic Action 3

Support product development, interpretation and marketing of DUBLIN RURAL unique Heritage and Cultural attractions to maximise potential arising from Fáilte Ireland’s – Dublin, ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’ and Ireland’s Ancient East (IAE) in adjoining counties.

Strategic Action 4

Develop and support Dublin Rural unique tourism experience through strategic planning/clustering and destination development and marketing to capitalise on Failte Ireland’s – Dublin, a breath of fresh air.

Strategic Action 5

Support the growth of the tourism sector in Dublin rural by improving and expanding the quality and range of tourism products on offer.


Enterprise Development

houses under construction

LEADER can support micro, small and medium enterprises as defined in Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC3.  Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) have primary responsibility for micro-enterprise in Ireland. LEADER must complement rather than compete with LEO activity; effective systems of collaboration and consultation are required to ensure a co-ordinated and effective allocation of resources. The respective areas of LEO and LEADER enterprise activity are outlined in the protocol between the Department and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. This protocol applies nationally, but allows sufficient flexibility at a local level to facilitate project referral from LEOs to LAGs as appropriate. For more information on Business applications please click here (LINK NEEDED)

The CEDRA Report (2014) identifies areas that might benefit most from LEADER support –

  • Artisan and other food businesses;
  • Renewable Energy;
  • Marine diversification (to complement support provided by Fisheries LAGs funded under the European Maritime Fisheries Fund);
  • Social Enterprises; and
  • Creative Industries

Supported actions might include investment support or sector-specific training programmes for aspiring entrepreneurs, early stage promoters, social enterprises, start-ups and established SMEs. In the context of Priority 6, developing inclusive models of business support will be key to realising the potential of groups who are underrepresented in enterprise, e.g. women, young people and people with disabilities.

Strategic actions

The following actions were identified through consultation process and presented via the Local Development Strategy:

Enterprise Development. Local Objective 2

Investment in Rural Enterprise and Job Creation.
Financial allocation: (€) 1,192,342 Number of Strategic actions: 4

Strategic Action 6

Provision of enterprise training, animation and capacity building support programme for underrepresented individuals and groups.

Strategic Action 7

Support capital Investment for rural enterprise assisting SME’s and Social Enterprise companies to develop or expand in the interest of economic development and employment creation at local level.

Strategic Action 8

Support Capital Investment for rural Enterprise assisting SME’s and Social Enterprise Companies to develop or expand in the interest of economic development and employment creation at local level.

Strategic Action 9

Support incubation and enterprise Hubs to increase the number of businesses and job creation across the DUBLIN RURAL operational area.


Rural Towns

sign for Balscadden

This sub-theme supports the regeneration of rural towns. It seeks to promote them as attractive places to visit, live and do business in. LEADER is particularly suited to revitalising rural towns through co-ordination of integrated approaches that build on the economic strengths and infrastructure of the area whilst addressing the key challenges for business, community and recreation.

Actions to support the regeneration of rural towns might include town renewal schemes that renovate derelict buildings in order to attract business to vacant properties. The building or refurbishment of community buildings also provides a multifunctional infrastructure for social, cultural and sporting activities and training for the local community. Developing and promoting unique social events and activities can provide an important stimulus to rural towns. LEADER projects in this area should complement and add value to other national supports for rural towns.

Actions should be sustainable, and consider and incorporate all the needs of the area, i.e. standalone projects that deliver on one objective and do not seek to address multiple objectives should be avoided. Works that normally come within the remit of Local Authorities, such as large infrastructure projects, are not eligible for LEADER funding. Where it is not clear whether a project could be considered to come under the remit of the Local Authority (e.g. ornamental street lighting or footpaths), the LAG should consult with the Department before approving funding.

Strategic actions

The following actions were identified through consultation process and presented via the Local Development Strategy:

Rural Towns. Local Objective 3

Revitalising and strengthen Rural Towns and Villages to serve as attractive places to visit, live and work in.
Financial allocation: (€) 266,905 Number of Strategic actions: 3

Strategic Action 10

Community Training, Animation and Capacity Building Programme to support vibrant towns in DUBLIN RURAL.

Strategic Action 11

Local Enhancement Plans/Designs for towns in the DUBLIN RURAL area.

Strategic Action 12

Regenerating DUBLIN RURAL Towns and Villages.

Click on the section titles below for other themes

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