What is LEADER?

The LEADER programme (an acronym in French meaning Links between actions for the development of the rural economy) is a European Union initiative to support rural development projects initiated at the local level in order to revitalise rural areas and create jobs.

What is the LAG?

Decisions on LEADER funding are made at a local level by a Local Action Group (LAG), through the framework of a Local Development Strategy (LDS). A LAG is made up of people from the local community as well as from the local public and private sector. The LDS is a plan that is developed by rural communities to support sustainable development of their sub-regional area. There are three LEADER Local Action Groups (LAGs) in County Cork located in the Divisions of North, South and West.

How much funding is allocated to each LAG for this programme 2014-2020?

North: € 5,091,845

South: € 3,831,303

West:  € 5,015,674

What is an Implementing Partner?

Local Development Company implementing LEADER programme at local level, see table below.

North Cork

Avondhu Blackwater Parnership CLG Tel: (022) 46580
Ballyhoura Development CLG Tel: (063) 91300
IRD Duhallow CLG Tel: (029) 60633
Website:   www.leadernorthcork.com

South Cork

Avondhu Blackwater Parnership CLG Tel: (022) 46580
IRD Duhallow CLG Tel: (029) 60633
SECAD CLG Tel: (021) 4613432
Údarás na Gaeltachta Tel: (026) 45366
Website:  www.leadersouthcork.com


West Cork

Zone 1: Avondhu Blackwater Parnership CLG Tel: 1800 200545
Zone 2: Comhar na nOileán CTR Tel: 1800 200545
Zone 3:SECAD CLG Tel: 1800 200545
Website:  www.leaderwestcork.com


The Application process is a two stage process:

  • Stage 1: Expression of Interest
  • Stage 2: Full Application

The timing and nature of EOI calls are decided at LEADER sub-group level by the Implementing Partner in consultation with the LAG Chief Officer. The EOI form will be reviewed by the relevant Implementing Partners. Only eligible EOI’s will proceed to the full application stage. Any appeal by unsuccessful applicants must be made to the LAG in the first instance.  An Evaluation Committee will assess and evaluate the application based on objective criteria and make a recommendation for funding to the Local Action Group (LAG). Projects to be recommended to the LAG will first undergo an Article 48 Audit check.  The LAG will consider the Evaluation Committee recommendation and make a decision on whether to approve funding. The applicant will be notified in writing of the outcome of the Application.

In-house Projects

A LAG may be a beneficiary and implement projects under the LDS.  These projects are known as ‘in-house’ projects and arise where the LAG or an Implementing Partner delivers a LEADER project. These are projects that are deemed important to the overall development of the area as identified in the LEADER Plan 2014-2020 for example organising a series of training programmes for local communities or businesses.



There are two types of calls; Open calls and targeted calls. Funding applications for projects that fit under the ‘Open call’ will be accepted on a ‘first come, first served’ basis’ and are not subject to any application deadlines.

Funding applications for projects that fit under the ‘targeted call’ are subject to application deadlines. Project areas covered by the targeted call will be ineligible under the ‘Open call’ process for 6 months following the closing date of the ‘targeted call’.

 Glossary of abbreviations

LEADER                                                      Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l’Économique Rurale

LCDC                                                            Local Community Development Committee

LAG                                                               Local Action Group

The Rural Development Programme (LEADER) 2014 – 2020 is supported by The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas and The Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.