Donkey Sanctuary is one of thousands of rural projects in line for new funding

Donkey Sanctuary is one of thousands of rural projects in line for new funding

The Donkey Sanctuary has rescued 5,600 donkeys since opening its doors in 1987 and currently has 1,800 donkeys in its care. Picture Dan Linehan

ALMOST €15,000 in LEADER funding has been allocated to The Donkey Sanctuary Ireland, in Mallow in order to enhance and improve the outdoor visitor experience.

The money will be spent on new weather-resistant picnic tables and a new path, among other things.

The Donkey Sanctuary has rescued 5,600 donkeys since opening its doors in 1987 and currently has 1,800 donkeys in its care.

The facility operates an open farm where people can come and visit the donkeys all year round, apart from Christmas Day.

Another €4,791 has been allocated to Ballyhoura Development CLG for its Ballyhoura Tidy Towns Support Initiative, which will see funding provided to five communities across the Ballyhoura area of North Cork to develop a variety of Tidy Towns plans.

The funding was announced by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD. Minister Ring has now announced more than €95 million in funding for 2,593 LEADER projects across rural Ireland.

The increase reflects a significant expansion of activity over the last two years since Minister Ring introduced a range of measures to make the programme work better for both potential applicants and for the LEADER Local Action Groups which deliver the programme on the ground.

Commenting, Local Councillor John Paul O’Shea said: “LEADER funding represents an enormous opportunity for rural businesses and communities that are in need of investment and it’s great to see the programme continuing to grow and make a difference for rural Ireland over the coming years,” he said.

The LEADER Programme supports local and community projects across a diverse range of themes including; Rural tourism, enterprise development, rural towns, access to broadband, basic services targeted at hard-to-reach communities, rural youth, protection and sustainable use of water resources, protection and improvement of local biodiversity, and development of renewable energy.

The programme is co-financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

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