Kilkenny LEADER Partnership – Public Consultation for LEADER 2023-2027

Kilkenny LEADER Partnership (KLP) is the Local Action Group delivering the European Union’s flagship programme for rural development: LEADER. KLP wants your input into the Local Development Strategy for the new LEADER programme due to start in the second half of this year. Read below on what LEADER is and how you can contribute to the planning process.

  • The LEADER approach was introduced in 1991-2 in response to the need for an alternative to traditional, top-down policies to address problems faced by rural areas in Europe.
  • LEADER concept of connecting and involving local people was quite new when first proposed by officials at European Com-
  • ‘LEADER’ derives from French “Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l’Économie Rurale” or ‘Links between activities for the development of rural economy‘’.
  • LEADER engages with local people, small businesses and community groups as development actors, not just as passive clients.
  • Kilkenny was one of the first Local Action Groups (LAGs) in the EU in 1992. A LAG is a partnership of community, private and public sector actors.

LEADERS Themes 2023 – 2027

The 2023– 2027 LEADER Programme has a significantly reduced budget of €180 million for the country. County Kilkenny has been allocated €6.1 million in total from this national allocation. Following the conclusion of the Expression of interest stage, KLP is the only approved applicant for the final application which will be submitted in the coming weeks, following this consultation and before the middle of July.

The Department of Rural & Community Development (DRCD) has published guidelines for applicants that can be accessed here from the Pobal website

The three main Themes and their Sub-themes on which funding will be allocated are included in some detail in that document and in the summary below.

LEADER’s 7 Principles

LEADER is guided by seven Principles.

  1. The Bottom-up approach: making decisions at the community level.
  2. Area-based Development Strategies: Plans made locally.
  3. Local Partnerships: a broad-based action group of stakeholders.
  4. Integrated & Multi-sectoral Strategies: linkage & value-added plans.
  5. Networking: working with other stakeholders to common ends.
  6. Innovation: trying new approaches and ways of working.
  7. Cooperation: working with other LEADER local action groups; neighbours, elsewhere in Ireland and further afield in Europe.

KLP’s Criteria for Project Selection

Given the limited funding and the need for optimum benefit to the rural development of the county, KLP is suggesting that the main Actions of the Local Development Strategy will be assessed for how they advance the Goals of the Themes and Sub-themes. They should be:
Specific, be clear in their intention.
Strategically impactful, make a difference not only in their instance but in their wider influence.
Achievable, we can deliver it in the timeframe of 2023- to ’27.
Replicable, act as models and/or inspiration for other communities.

Your Input into KLP’s Plan

Based on the information above and the link to the LEADER Guidelines, particularly as they outline the themes/ subthemes, and its above selection criteria, KLP is asking for residents and small businesses active in County Kilkenny for their suggestions of the overall approach (so not local individual projects) of its strategy.

We would appreciate it if you can respond to the following questionnaire:

Membership of KLP

If you are a resident of Kilkenny and would like to be informed periodically of the progress of the delivery of the approved LDS, you can find out about our membership below: