Fine Gael Kildare South TD Martin Heydon has today (Thursday) welcomed confirmation from Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Heather Humphries this week that certain equine activities will now be eligible for funding under the current Leader Programme.

“The Minister intends to amend the ineligible list of activities under the 2014-2020 LEADER Programme to include ancillary activities for the equine industry.  The change will assist a wide range of equine activities and rural tourism projects, such as equestrian centres and riding schools.

“This should be a boost for many equine and rural tourist projects in Co. Kildare which have been restricted in applying for Leader funding under this new programme. The extension of funding to ancillary activities for the equine industry highlights the importance and strength of the industry and indicates the opportunities for spin off business and creation of more jobs from it in important rural areas.”