The new 2023-2027 LEADER Programme was launched today (Friday, 1st March) by Minister of State, James Browne TD at WLD’s new Enniscorthy office in Slaney Place. The grant aid programme funded by the EU and the Irish exchequer will be delivered in County Wexford by WLD. 

Speaking in advance of the launch, WLD CEO, Brian Kehoe, said that since its commencement in 1991, LEADER has made a significant contribution to economic and community development in Wexford. He stated that between now and the end of 2027, €5.4m in LEADER grant aid will be invested in innovative community and enterprise projects throughout the county. Through LEADER, WLD will support sustainable development and strive to maximise funding opportunities for communities by working in close cooperation with Wexford County Council and the Local Community Development Committee (LCDC).

Brian went on to say that in preparation for this programme, WLD engaged in an extensive consultation process, resulting in a plan with a set of objectives that are reflective of the expressed needs of communities and businesses in the county. In line with the “bottom-up” approach of LEADER, grant aid will align to objectives that reflect the key challenges facing Co Wexford to include job creation, social inclusion, sustainable development, and a specific emphasis on addressing climate change. The objectives cover the key areas in need of the greatest support and are sufficiently broad and flexible to facilitate funding a wide range of projects.

Tom Bermingham, LEADER Programme Coordinator confirmed that €2.4m in grant aid will be available for the enterprise and social enterprise sectors. In a change from previous LEADER Programmes, grant aid for projects which facilitate job creation and economic development will be confined to new and existing business involved in tourism, food and/or the circular economy. A further €3m in grant aid will be allocated to community groups for a broad range of projects to include refurbishment of community buildings, social outdoor spaces and projects that address climate change as well as protect and enhance our county’s environment.

The 2023-2027 LEADER Programme will also include a strong focus on areas and communities that have not previously benefitted from LEADER. WLD staff will support these communities in accessing funding and building their social capital.

For details on eligibility and how to apply visit