As Chairperson of Kilkenny LEADER Partnership (KLP), I am delighted to present the Company’s supplement of a selection from over four hundred projects completed during the course of the Company’s development programmes over the past five years. I am sure that you will agree that the breadth and depth of the interests and capacities of local groups and small businesses in the county is impressive. Like Kilkenny (and indeed Ireland as a whole), KLP is at a critical stage of its development.

The phrase ‘bottom-up development’ has entered the dictionary of terms commonly used by everyone from Government Ministers to newspaper commentators in reference to sustainable growth and structures across the wide range of the social and economic spectrum. This approach sometimes referred to as ‘community-led local development’- can occasionally be read as just another cliché, distant from the reality of ordinary people’s lives. The projects and processes in this supplement shows what the ‘bottom-up’ philosophy really looks like; local people taking responsibility for their own futures.

KLP is committed to the spirit of community-led local development. The European Union has adopted the bottom-up philosophy of the LEADER process as a main plank for its major funding streams.  Ironically, you may be aware of our concerns with the potential direction national policy has for this EU progressive initiative. We are optimistic that we will be here to work in partnership with all parties interested in the development of a thriving local economy and vigorous independent voluntary sector. Congratulations to all the project promoters. You are true heroes here!