A €2.5 million giveaway to boost Kilkenny’s rural industry has been announced by Leader.
The massive grant aid investment in small businesses and community groups is set to support the recovery of the county as it emerges from the Covid-19 lockdown, and give Kilkenny the competitive edge over other counties.
Funds will be available for projects that will promote employment and improve the quality of life for rural communities.
Kilkenny Leader Partnership (KLP) Chief Executive Officer, Declan Rice said individual grants of up to €200,000 are available for capital projects and small businesses.
“The Board of Directors of KLP is eager to make a strong contribution to recovery of the county from the necessary Covid restrictions. It has agreed to sharpen its focus in project approvals on a number of sectors that offer the most immediate opportunity for employment support and retention including, tourism, food and drink, renewable energy and social enterprise.”
A total of €2.5 million will be allocated to projects that support the Covid Recovery in the six months to the end of the year, by KLP.
KLP will also review its policies to ensure it can meet the challenges, and is preparing to use its significant resources, not just its €2.5 million budget, but its extensive network of contacts and supporting initiatives to ensure it takes full advantage of the opportunities of the Covid Recovery phase.
Mr Rice said: “KLP does not operate a loan system, it’s straightforward non-repayable grants. We believe in supporting genuine innovation and where KLP has the resources to support a project that has that potential, it has amply demonstrated in the past its willingness to make appropriate commitments.”
Much of KLP’s work is with communities, where the rates of aid are significantly higher, and has long recognised the employment impact of those projects to the local economy.
In the community sector, the focus will be on projects that improve and sustain rural towns and villages, support local youth initiatives and improve digital connectivity.