The LEADER Initiative (Liaisons Entre Actions de Developement de l’Economie Rurale) was established by the European Commission in 1991 and was designed to aid the development of sustainable rural communities following the reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy.  It has been highly successful across the European Union and in all rural areas of Ireland. County Carlow Development Partnership is the LEADER Programme Implementer for Carlow on behalf of the Carlow Local Community Development Committee (LCDC).

Through the LEADER Programme, Carlow County Development Partnership CLG has successfully supported communities and small rural businesses throughout County Carlow since 2002 delivering a range of services. LEADER can help local communities and individuals in a number of ways: We can provide you with advice, training, mentoring and support in developing a business plan, help develop a community plan, as well as providing capital assistance for construction, equipment and machinery for start-up and expanding businesses.

The new LEADER Programme 2014 – 2020 focuses on these themes and sub themes:

Economic Development, Enterprise Development & Job Creation,  Rural Tourism, Rural Towns, Social Inclusion, Basic Services Targeted at Hard to Reach Communities, Rural Youth, Rural Environment,Protection and Sustainable use of Water Resources, Protection and Improvement of Local Biodiversity, Development of Renewable Energy


Under the most recent programme from 2007 – 2015, in excess of 140 projects received approximately €6m in grants for the purposes of developing the infrastructure of the county economically, physically, culturally and socially. Over 90 community groups, 100 enterprises and 12 individuals were assisted throughout this period. Carlow County Development Partnership CLG acknowledges the hard work of voluntary organisations, enterprises and individuals who brought their projects to fruition, often overcoming unforeseen obstacles. The work completed during these projects are of a very high standard which will benefit communities in Co. Carlow for generations to come.

Carlow County Development Partnership CLG are currently seeking Expressions of Interest for LEADER funding. For further information please get in touch through the Contact page

To see the Strategy for the current LEADER programme, please click here STRATEGY   and to see the budget click here BUDGET