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23 Jan 2022

MEP commends work of County Kildare LEADER partnership

MEP commends work of County Kildare LEADER partnership

Supplied. Pictured at Hartwell Creative Retreats are (L-R): Brian Kelly, Stephen Morrison, Heidi Morrison, Chris MacManus MEP, Reada Cronin TD and Karl Duffy

A Member of the European Parliament (MEP) has praised the work of the County Kildare LEADER Partnership (CKLP) for its work in supporting local communities through LEADER and other EU funding programmes.

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus made the comments after visiting Hartwell Creative Retreats in Kill alongside his colleague Réada Cronin TD and representatives from CKLP.

MEP MacManus said: "Local development strategies are more effective and efficient if decided and implemented at grassroots level."

"LEADER funding supports a ‘bottom-up’ approach to bring about positive change in rural areas through training and up-skilling in communities and in supporting individuals and community groups to access the required funds for their development projects."

The Sligo politician continued: "This provides rural individuals and community groups with greater decision-making responsibilities around the future development and direction of their local area.

"It helps to revitalise rural society by creating greater employment opportunities at local level and builds strong social cohesion and collaboration within rural communities.

MEP MacManus added that LEADER has benefited countless individuals and groups in almost every town and village across Ireland: "It is a hugely important programme for our rural communities, many of which would be lacking in basic facilities without it."

"I was delighted to visit Stephen and Heidi Morrison at Hartwell Creative Retreats in Kill recently.

"Stephen and Heidi received LEADER funding to develop a Holistic Wellness Centre, which compliments the Green vision which Stephen has for the land which he farms.

"It was funded under the important LEADER theme of economic development through farm diversification.

The Centre is a place where people can immerse themselves in nature, supporting their mental health and developing their creativity.

He concluded: "Karl Duffy and Brian Kelly from County Kildare LEADER Partnership also gave an overview of the other local projects funded by LEADER and other EU funding programmes... it was great to hear about the positive impact these programmes are having and I would like to commend County Kildare LEADER Partnership for their excellent work in supporting local communities through these programmes."

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