LEADER Enterprise funding call now open

Clare Entrepreneurs can now apply for a share of €250,000 in grant aid following a call by Clare Local Development Company (CLDC) for enterprise applications under the LEADER Rural Development programme.

As part of a two stage application process, the company is inviting online Expressions of Interest (EOIs) by 31st January, 2017 from enterprise start-ups, existing enterprises and social entrepreneurs for funding for projects across a range of sectors including digital technology, green economy and social enterprise. Projects providing services in or to the agriculture, forestry and equine sectors are also eligible to be considered at a 50% grant rate along with projects in the artisan food, arts, craft and design sector.

LEADER Coordinator Gloria Callinan stated that subject to eligibility, applications must then be submitted by 14th March, 2017 and all applications will be subsequently evaluated as part of a competitive process.  Successful projects must incur an expenditure of at least €10,000 in order to be eligible for the €5,000 minimum amount of funding that may be awarded to each project. The maximum rate of grant aid that may be awarded is €50,000 and it is expected that the average grant allocation will be between €25,000 and €40,000.

A number of information events will take place early in the New Year at various locations around the county commencing on 10th January, 2017 at the CLDC offices in Ennis, followed by the Burren Centre, Kilfenora on 12th January; the Vandeleur Centre, Kilrush on 17th January; Seedsavers, Scarriff on 19th January and concluding in Atlantic AirVenture, Shannon on Friday, 20th January. Each event will commence at 2pm.

Spaces are limited at each information session so please pre book on CLDC Eventbrite

Ms. Callinan is urging people with ideas for potential projects to attend the information days and says that LEADER staff will be available at each event to advise people on their project ideas and to answer any particular queries they may have in relation to the application process.

Subject to Departmental approval, LEADER grant offers will be issued in June 2017 and there will be an appeals process for unsuccessful applicants.

The EOI form and full details can be found here: