Better Together

Better Together

Clare Local Development Company (CLDC) over the past 30 years has supported the establishment and development of Social Enterprises across a range of sectors including tourism, community services, childcare organisations, and climate action.

A social enterprise has many definitions, but the unifying goal is the promotion of social or environmental welfare rather than making or maximizing profits. Social enterprises in Clare work in many sectors: Improving the environment, strengthening community supports, supporting employment opportunities locally and regionally and working for the overall betterment of society.

The next step in CLDC’s ongoing support to Social Enterprise is to facilitate the development of a local network to compliment the national networks such as the Irish Social Network & Social Enterprise Republic of Ireland.

On Tuesday the 17th of January CLDC launched the Clare Social Enterprise Network. Twenty social enterprises came together in Ennis. The group had an opportunity to network, knowledge share and hear from the following speakers:

Agnes O’Shaughnessy, LEADER Co-ordinator, Clare Local Development Company, Michelle Guthrie, Senior Enterprise Development Officer, Local Enterprise Office Clare, and Pauline Gannon: Co-founder and director of Social Impact Ireland.

In her presentation Agnes gave an overview of the results of a needs analysis survey completed by Social Enterprises. She highlighted that the network was a space for Social Enterprise to have a  shared voice. Michelle identified several supports available to Social Enterprises and encouraged participants to connect with Local Enterprise Office Clare. Pauline inspired the audience with her presentation on the Social Enterprise journey reminding social enterprises ‘Social Impact is the only future … be the change you want to see in the Impact space!’

CLDC have planned a calendar of future events throughout 2023 to offer networking opportunities and soft support in the common issues facing Social Enterprises including

  • Fundraising / revenue generation.
  • Business planning
  • Strategy Planning and Sustainability
  • Communication and Marketing
  • Legal & HR – recruitment & management

The primary aim of the network is to give Social Enterprises in Clare a platform to interact with other like-minded people, to ask questions, share ideas, experiences & learnings, and to identify opportunities for working together and for wider collaboration.

If you would like to be added to our database to be included in the invites for the 2023 events, please contact Aisling de Klerk at

Our Rural Future: Minister Humphreys announces details of new €180 million LEADER Programme

Our Rural Future: Minister Humphreys announces details of new €180 million LEADER Programme

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced the details of the €180 million LEADER Programme for 2023-2027.

The major investment will support thousands of locally-led rural development and enterprise projects over the next five years. This allocation is in addition to the €70m already provided for LEADER for 2021 and 2022, bringing the total allocation for the seven year LEADER programming period of 2021-2027 to €250 million.

Minister Humphreys published the 2023-2027 funding allocation for each county.

The selection process will be conducted over two stages; the first stage is an ‘Expression of Interest’ by eligible groups followed by a more detailed stage which will see them develop their LEADER strategies.

The first stage of the process was opened by Minister Humphrey

Making the announcement, Minister Humphreys said:

“The LEADER Programme has been integral to delivering locally-led projects that have brought major benefits to communities across Rural Ireland.  LEADER operates on a ground-up approach and is all about empowering local communities to deliver projects that will revitalise our towns and villages.  Today, I’m pleased to set out the process for selecting groups to deliver the new LEADER programme.  The process will be open, transparent and competitive and I am encouraging groups in the private and public sector to work together to achieve the best possible results.

The Minister announced that interested parties will have until Friday 16th December 2022 to submit their Expression of Interest (Stage 1).

All groups that are successful in Stage 1 will be provided with funding to assist with the costs associated with developing a Local Development Strategy in Stage 2 of the process.

A fund of €2 million has been ring-fenced for this purpose which will commence in early 2023.

Minister Humphreys acknowledged the tremendous work of the Local Action Groups that have successfully delivered the current LEADER programme, stating:

“It is now important that the key public and private stakeholders in communities across Ireland come together in partnership to deliver a LEADER programme that will build on the fantastic success of the programme over the last 30 years. By working together, we will ensure that LEADER continues to play a central role in supporting rural communities into the future.”

As part of the new CAP Strategic Plan funding of €180m has been committed to LEADER for 2023-2027.  The Minister also confirmed that all of this funding will be allocated to the Local Action Groups who are appointed to deliver the new programme. A breakdown of the allocation is provided in the table below.

Interested parties can now apply by visiting the Department’s website and downloading an application form via the following link

Completed Expressions of Interest forms must be submitted by email only to later than 5.30pm on Friday 16th December 2022.

The Department of Rural and Community Development will host an information webinar for all interested parties on 10th November 2022. Registration for this event is open at














Dublin Rural













































*County Cork includes three sub-regional areas of North Cork, South Cork and West Cork, the allocation indicated will be distributed across the three sub-regional areas.


SICAP Video Case Study 2022

SICAP Video Case Study 2022 Working Collaboratively with New Communities in North Clare highlights the positive working relationships between local community, voluntary and statutory organisations to support New Communities in Co. Clare.

SICAP wins prestigious UN award

SICAP wins prestigious UN award

SICAP has won a 2022 UN Public Service Award for “Institutional resilience and innovative responses to the COVID-19 pandemic”. This prestigious award is a welcome recognition for the significant community support provided by SICAP during the pandemic, in Clare and across the country.

Welcoming the award, Doirin Graham, CEO, CLDC said ‘ For CLDC it is an important endorsement of our work and in particular of the dedication, capability and integrity of the SICAP team.  It is a great credit to their work and their frontline SICAP colleagues around the country.  Many congratulations to all the SICAP staff’ 

Read the Department of Rural & Community Development press release here