LEADER funding call for Broadband and ICT projects under the Rural Development Programme

Mayo LEADER Local Action Group (LAG) is now inviting applications for Broadband and ICT projects under the Rural Development Programme (LEADER) 2014-2020.


Increased access to reliable and high-speed broadband is vital for the economic and social development of County Mayo. High-quality broadband enables businesses to set-up or continue to be based in rural areas, by overcoming barriers relating to access to markets and services. There is also a potential to create new jobs as access to broadband can support businesses to grow.

This funding call supports local actions that complement national initiatives aimed at developing a comprehensive rural broadband infrastructure. However, this funding call cannot duplicate any interventions that are proposed under the National Broadband Plan.

What kind of projects can be supported?

  • Innovative pilot projects.
  • Small-scale broadband equipment (such as boosters).
  • Small-scale infrastructure to allow businesses and communities to access broadband.

Important: Even if your Broadband/ICT project does not appear on the list, it may still be eligible.

What cannot be supported?

  • Most broadband infrastructure, as this is covered under the National Broadband Plan.

How much funding is available?

Capital Projects (including Broadband Equipment/Infrastructure) Community/Voluntary Up to 75% to a max. grant of €10,000  
Private/Enterprise Up to 50% to a max. grant of €10,000  


This competitive funding call has a total budget of €66,000 available to projects.

Very Important: This is a competitive funding call, and the value of applications may exceed the budget available. Where this is the case, applications will be ranked, and only those with the highest ranking will receive funding. However, regardless of demand, applications must achieve a minimum score of 65% to be considered for approval.

Who can apply?

This scheme is open to individuals, businesses and community/voluntary groups throughout County Mayo and its inhabited offshore islands.

How do I apply?

There is a two-stage application process as follows:

Stage 1 – Expression of Interest Stage – You must complete and submit your Expression of Interest and Data Protection Form between Wednesday 22nd February and 3pm on Thursday, 2nd March 2017. EOIs received outside of these dates are cannot be considered. If you have already completed a Broadband/ICT-related Expression of Interest form, you must complete and submit a new Expression of Interest form to enter this competition.

Download the Expression of Interest Form

Stage 2 – Application Stage – Your Expression of Interest will be assessed and you will be informed of the outcome by Wednesday, 29th March 2017. If your project is eligible in principle, you will be invited to make a full application for funding.

Important: An invitation to proceed to Stage 2 is not a commitment from Mayo LAG to fund your project.

Once I make a full application, how will my project be assessed?

An Evaluation Committee will assess all projects together, and Mayo LAG will make the final decision on all applications based on this assessment. They will consider the following criteria:

Assessment Criteria Score
1 Compatibility with LDS – Does the project proposal meet the criteria set out in the LDS? (See Appendix 1) 20
2 Applicant Capacity – Does the applicant have the skills, track record and/or experience to complete the project? 10
3 Financial Viability/Sustainability – Are the project costs justifiable and is adequate funding available to co-fund the project? 15
4 Requirement – Does the project target a specific need or address a specific gap in the market or local area? 15
5 Cross Cutting Themes – Does this project cross cut across innovation, environment & climate change 10
6 Social / Cultural / Economic / Environmental Impact For example social inclusion strategy, employment generation, impact on the environment etc. 20
7 Priority Area / Area of Disadvantage Is the project located in an area of disadvantage? (Using the Pobal HP Deprivation Index) 10
Total Score (minimum score of 65% required for consideration) 100

 Important project indicators include:

  • Number of people/businesses benefiting from enhanced broadband.
  • Number of new jobs created and/or existing jobs sustained (FT/PT/Seasonal).

Competitive Process

Please note that even if your project fulfills all of the above criteria, it still may not be awarded funding. Projects will be assessed, scored and ranked by an Evaluation Committee. Where the value of applications is more than the budget available, Mayo LAG may only consider those with the highest ranking/scores for approval.

If your application is unsuccessful, you will be given feedback about your score and ranking in relation to the winning applications.

Who do I contact?

If you are interested in applying for this funding, we strongly encourage you to contact your local LEADER Implementing or Animating Partner first, to have an informal chat about your project. However, this is optional and you can submit an Expression of Interest without contacting us.

Company Name Email Phone
South West Mayo Development Company info@southmayo.com 098 419 50
Mayo North East LEADER Partnership info@mayonortheast.com 094 925 6745
Comhar na nOiléan fios@oileain.ie 099 750 96
Moy Valley Resources info@moyvalley.ie 096 709 05
IRD Kiltimagh reception@ird-kiltimagh.ie 094 938 1494


 Appendix 1:  Relevant Extract from County Mayo’s Local Development Strategy

Theme:                       Economic Development, Enterprise Development & Job Creation

Sub-theme:                Broadband

Local Objective – To contribute to the provision of reliable high-speed broadband in all areas of the county, particularly in hard to reach communities, and to ensure that people are educated in the use of IT for business and social purposes. These actions will complement national initiatives on rural broadband infrastructure.

Rationale for Local Objective

Access to reliable high-speed next generation fibre optic broadband in rural areas is a priority at EU and national level. Consultations at local level with community groups, business networks, farming groups, rural tourism businesses and state agencies identified that reliable access to high speed broadband is vital for the economic and social development of rural communities.

Areas that are left behind in the roll out of the National Broadband Plan will be identified and innovative solutions to the provision of services identified and put in place.

Strategic Actions

  • Support capital investment for small-scale broadband infrastructure, works and equipment that will complement that supported by national programmes.
    • Provision of funding for small-scale equipment, works, and infrastructure to complement national initiatives in providing next generation fibre optic broadband.
    • Pilot projects linking ICT and next generation fibre optic broadband to community initiatives, tourism, enterprise, agriculture, social and youth projects.        
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