What is LEADER?

LEADER is a French acronym and stands for ‘Links between actions of rural development’. 

As its name suggests, LEADER is a method of mobilising and delivering rural development in local rural communities, rather than a fixed set of measures to be implemented. Experience has shown that LEADER can make a real difference to the daily lives of people in rural areas, with local businesses and community groups in County Louth benefiting from LEADER funding since 1991.

It promotes social inclusion, poverty reduction and the economic development of rural areas. LEADER is based on a bottom up approach to rural development whereby rural communities and people identify their own needs and propose solutions.

Local Development Strategy

LEADER involved the design and delivery of a Local Development Strategy (LDS) for County Louth. The Local Development Strategy is a community-led plan, developed and driven by rural communities through the Louth Local Community Development Committee, to address the locally identified needs and to achieve a defined set of local objectives.

During the public consultation process in Autumn 2015, participants were specifically invited to comment on each of the Rural Development Programme Themes and Objectives and meant that all funding decisions that will be taken by the Louth Local Community Development Committee are underpinned by the Local Objectives and Actions contained in the County Louth Local Development Strategy (Section 4).

The foundations for this plan build on previous programmes and initiatives and draws heavily from the current trends identified in the socio-economic and demographic analysis, the review of the challenges and successes experienced in the previous programme round, and by those people most in need that did not have the opportunity to benefit.  

Further detailed information on the LEADER approach and Rural Development Programme can be found at:  ENRD and AHRRGA websites. 

Watch this short video to get some idea of the principles of LEADER and take a look at the type of projects that we funded under the previous LEADER Programme in County Louth.