Minister Humphreys announces equine projects will be eligible for LEADER funding
The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys, has today (Tuesday) announced that certain equine activities will now be eligible funding under the current LEADER programme. The Minister intends to amend the ineligible list of activities under the 2014-2020 LEADER Programme, which could benefit a wide range equine activities and rural tourism projects, such as equestrian centres and riding schools.
Speaking today Minister Humphreys said:
“The race and sport horse industries were deemed as ineligible activities under the 2007-2013 LEADER programme. However, support for ancillary activities for the provision of services was eligible where this was in keeping with the Local Development Strategies developed in each area. These activities included a broad range of actions, such as equestrian centre and riding school projects.
“In light of the considerable level of investment already undertaken in ancillary activities under the previous programme, it was decided that support for such activities would not be eligible under the 2014-2020 LEADER programme.
“The LEADER Programme transferred to my Department last June and I launched the new LEADER Programme in July 2016. Since then, I have given consideration to this matter and it has become clear that there is still some demand for further investment in ancillary activities, particularly where this contributes to rural tourism.
“Therefore, I intend to amend the ineligible list of activities to allow for funding of ancillary activities for the equine industry. This will be on a targeted basis, with a particular emphasis on ensuring that the supported infrastructure is widely accessible to the public.”