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Community and Integrated Development


The LEADER Programme promotes social inclusion, poverty reduction and the economic development of rural areas by supporting local projects intended to tackle local needs and challenges. 

Projects are selected and approved by the Mayo Local Action Group, which is made up of representatives from our community, public and private sectors and led by the Mayo Local Community Development Committee.  Potential projects should be consistent with existing local development strategies and the priority issues for Mayo identified by the Local Action Group in its Local Development Strategy. 

These include: 

  • Economic Development, Enterprise and Job Creation 
  • Social Inclusion 
  • Rural Environment 

Applications are welcome from projects that involve: 

  • Rural Tourism 
  • Enterprise Development 
  • Broadband 
  • Basic services targeted at hard-to-reach communities 
  • Rural Youth 
  • The protection and sustainable use of water resources 
  • Local Biodiversity 
  • Renewable Energy 

If you have a project in mind, contact the Development Company covering your area for advice, and they will help you submit an Expression of Interest.

LEADER Programme 2023-2027

Update: Mayo LCDC have completed the public consultation stage to inform the Local Development Strategy – which included public consultations in venues around the county and online public consultations, an online survey and a number of online sectoral consultations. If you would like to add any further information in advance of the LDS Submission or if you have any queries - please contact or phone 0949064660.

The LEADER programme is a key intervention of Our Rural Future, the Government’s Policy for rural development launched in 2021, which aims to deliver a range of actions to rural communities over the lifetime of the policy. It is a multi-annual programme for rural development co-funded by the EU through the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Strategic Plan (CSP). The programme is based on a community-led approach to rural development and plays an important role in supporting communities and enterprises in progressing job creation, social inclusion and environmental projects at local level.

LEADER supported actions will contribute to achieving the aims of the CSP Specific Objective as per Article 6(1)(h) of EU Regulations 2021/21152:

‘to promote employment, growth, gender equality, social inclusion and local development in rural areas, including bio-economy and sustainable forestry.’

The LEADER approach is based on seven specific principles which, when combined to deliver rural development initiatives, distinguish LEADER from simply being a grant funding programme.

The seven principles of LEADER are:

  1. Bottom-up approach;
  2. Area based local development strategies;
  3. Local partnerships;
  4. Integrated and multi-sectoral strategies;
  5. Networking;
  6. Innovation;
  7. Co-operation

Please click on the following link for Press Release Announcement of Funding for the LEADER Programme 2023-2027: Our Rural Future: Minister Humphreys announces details of new €180 million LEADER Programme

Mayo LCDC were successful in Stage 1 with their Expression of Interest to develop a Local Development Strategy (LDS) for County Mayo for the LEADER Programme 2023-2027, and have been provided with funding to assist with developing this LDS, which is Stage 2 of the application process to administer LEADER 2023-2027.

What is a Local Development Strategy?

  • The local development strategy (LDS) is a plan designed by members of rural communities, through their LAGs, to support the sustainable development of their own rural communities.
  • LDSs are designed through a “bottom-up” process facilitating participation by any member of the rural community and taking full and comprehensive consideration of not just local needs but also local potential.
  • An LDS should examine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) that face a particular area and outline the types of actions to be supported to address the weaknesses and threats and exploit the strengths and opportunities identified.

Indicative LEADER Themes 2023-2027

1. Economic Development and Job Creation

The need to support the development of the rural economy has been identified as a critical challenge in both the needs analysis and Ireland’s five-year rural development policy - Our Rural Future (2021-2025)6.  Areas of focus within this theme might include:

  • The Green Economy
  • Agricultural Diversification (e.g. glamping on farm)
  • Rural Tourism & Recreation
  • Enterprise Development
  • Rural Food Production
  • Social, Community & Cooperative Enterprises

2. Rural Infrastructure & Social Inclusion

A central focus will be the need to not just support economic development but also to ensure that social inclusion is supported. Ireland is becoming increasingly diverse and it is important to embrace this diversity and ensure that future community development recognises the needs of all members of society. Areas of focus under this theme might include:

  • Rural Infrastructure
  • Accessible Services
  • Optimising Digital Connectivity
  • Rural Youth

3. Sustainable Development of Rural Environment and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

While recognising that climate change mitigation and adaptation is a cross-cutting issue and in this context will be considered for all LEADER interventions, there were a number of specific areas that emerged from the needs analysis process, these might include:

  • Sustainable Development of Rural Environment
  • Climate Change Capacity Building
  • Climate Change Mitigation and Adaption

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