Making an Application to the LEADER Programme


This section sets out the main criteria and processes required to successfully access and drawdown LEADER grant aid. It is worth noting at this point that help is available from the Meath Partnership LEADER team, through all stages of the project lifecycle. We are here to assist you, offer advice, guidance and direction. Respect for confidentiality is of utmost importance to us owing to the often commercially sensitive nature of the information supplied to us.


Quick Checklist if Considering an Application for LEADER


As a guiding principle, the Meath Local Community Development Committee will consider projects by reference to the following:

  • Compatible with the Local Development Strategy and Programme Operating Rules
  • The innovative nature of the project proposed
  • The market or demand for the proposed project, product or service
  • The economic viability of the project proposed
  • The capacity of the promoter to deliver the project
  • Adequate overall finance available to the promoter to successfully fund and complete the project.
  • The promoter possesses sufficient management and technical capacity to implement the proposed project.


Eligible Project Areas for LEADER Investment


  • Construction, acquisition or improvement of immovable property;
  • Purchase of new machinery and equipment
  • General costs linked to expenditure referred to in points (a) and (b), such as architect, engineer and consultation fees, fees relating to advice on environmental and economic sustainability, including feasibility studies.
  • Professional costs, such as the fees of architects, archaeologists, engineers and consultants, are eligible for funding up to a cumulative ceiling of 12% of the capital costs of such projects.
  • Intangible investments such as the acquisition or development of computer software and acquisitions of patents, licenses, copyrights, trademarks.
  • Services and facilities targeting the disadvantaged and hard to reach


LEADER grants cannot fund any project or element of a project retrospectively


Considerations before making an Application 


Deadweight: If a project promoter has the funds available to complete the project without LEADER assistance, then no commitment of grant aid can be made.


Displacement: Displacement occurs where an activity funded using public funds impacts negatively on activity elsewhere; this may often lead to market distortion and the provision of an unfair advantage to the proposed project.

Funding for Sporting Facilities: Where applications are submitted for funding of a facility on the grounds of a sporting organisation e.g. GAA or soccer club, the award of funding will be conditional on the promoter developing and implementing a comprehensive inclusion strategy to ensure use of the facility by the entire community. It is not sufficient to state that the facility is open to all.


Training Courses/Programmes: Grant aid can be provided to groups wishing to undertake training in a specific LEADER thematic area providing that these courses do not form part of normal curriculum currently provided elsewhere. Grant aid for individuals wishing to take part in training, regardless of its nature, is ineligible.

Heritage Projects: A set of specific programme requirements apply in the case of projects affecting heritage. These projects are defined as those that will impact, or have potential to impact, upon structures, places or sites of heritage interest including monuments and places protected under the National Monuments Acts 1930-2004, protected structures, architectural conservation areas and protected nature conservation sites.

Minimum Funding Thresholds: Promoters cannot apply for funding of less than €1,250 for a project. The Meath LAG may apply a higher minimum funding threshold in certain circumstances i.e. calls for proposals for specific types of project, which in any event will not be higher than €5,000.

Evidence of Matching Funds & Bridging Finance: 

Project Promoters must provide evidence, prior to issue of any funding offer, that they have the necessary matching funding (private or public) and adequate resources (or bridging finance) in place to deliver the project. LEADER funding is only ever a contribution to the cost of delivering a proposed project and as such should be matched by private funds to meet the full costs of a project. Matching funding can be sourced privately or from other public funds. In this regard:

  • Private matching funding is all funding that is not obtained from public sources
  • Public matching funding is funding from all public sources other than EU funds

The LEADER programme cannot co-fund with other EU funds. Accordingly, funding from other EU sources cannot be used to match-fund or co-fund LEADER projects. Matching funding from other public funded sources (e.g. Fáilte Ireland, local authorities, Waterways Ireland, etc.) is permitted providing it does not originate from an EU fund.


Cash Payments: A ceiling of €1,000 will apply per project for total payments made by promoters in cash for vouched services.


Purchase of Land: The purchase of land, with or without buildings, may be eligible if the cost of the land does not exceed 10% of the total eligible project expenditure. This limit may be increased to 15% for derelict sites, and those formerly in industrial use, with buildings.


Phased Payments: Phased payments are permitted once requested at application stage by the promoter, exceed €1,000 and once at least 20% of total eligible project costs have been incurred. The number of phased payments on a project will be five or lower.

Tax Clearance Procedures: Evidence of current Tax Clearance must be provided for payments that exceed €10,000 (including VAT) for the period of the project at the time of payment. The threshold is €650 for construction operations.

Value Added Tax: The default position is that all promoters are registered for VAT. In such circumstances VAT is not an eligible cost; non-recoverable VAT borne by promoters may be eligible. The Promoter must provide written confirmation from the Revenue Commissioners that they are not registered for VAT at the time of application and before each payment is made.




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