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Making an Application for Grant Aid

In the first instance, it is important to meet with and talk to FORUM staff, who will advise you on the likely eligibility of your project and the steps to be taken in making your application.

Staff will then work with you to develop and finalise your proposal.  An official Grant Application Form must be completed and you will submit this with all of the support documentation outlined on the accompanying check-list to FORUM. Your application will be acknowledged, however this should not be taken as an indication that grant-aid will be awarded to your project.  All applications will go through an evaluation process before being presented to the Board for a decision.

Work should not commence on your project until you receive a Letter of Offer from FORUM.  Any work undertaken or equipment purchased prior to formal notification of this decision is not eligible for grant-aid.

The Steps

  1. The first step in the process is to fill out an expression of interest form and send it in to FORUM. This will help the project officer determine if what you are proposing to do would be eligible under the terms of the programme.

  2. If the project is thought to be eligible a meeting with a project officer will be arranged to explain the programme and progress the application (a site visit may be required in the case of construction/capital projects).

  3. The next step is to complete the grant application form and also a business/project plan and submit this to FORUM with any other supporting documentation that is deemed necessary to process the application.

  4. A written acknowledgement of receipt will be issued to the applicant.

  5. Your Project will be submitted to the Evaluation Committee when all paperwork is in order. The Evaluation Committee will appraise the project and make a recommendation to the Board of FORUM.

  6. The FORUM Board considers recommendation and makes the final decision.
    A letter of offer (or in some cases rejection) is sent to you enclosing a grant contract, which you should sign and return. If a project is rejected the promoter has the right of appeal to the FORUM board.

  7. Project can commence once the letter of offer has been signed and returned to FORUM and you regularly update FORUM on progress.

  8. On completion of project you will submit all documentation for drawing down grant aid.
    Documentation is checked.

  9. Final inspection of completed project is undertaken.
    Work should not commence on your project until FORUM has received your formal acceptance of grant offer.

What support documentation is needed?
The following is a list of the documentation which maybe needed to process your application. This list is not exhaustive and other items may only become apparent when the project moves through the process.

  • Completed application form signed and dated.

  • Business/Project plan.

  • Evidence of matching funds and capacity to carry out the project i.e. bank statement, loan conformation, letter from the credit union etc.

  • Evidence of legal status i.e. Memorandum and Articles of Association/Constitution. Certificate of Incorporation or evidence of charitable status (If Applicable).

  • Copy of most recent audited accounts (for Limited Companies) / Accountants annual report if applicable.

  • Permissions / Consents e.g. Planning permission where appropriate.

  • Evidence of lease/ ownership, where project involves capital projects e.g. sites of building construction, renovation and map.

  • Leases must run for a minimum period of 5 years from the date of the final grant payment to the promoter.

  • Quotations , the following threshold will apply; to each item of expenditure grant aided


When is the grant paid?
Grant payment will be made on completion of the project submission by the promoter of a fully documented, valid signed claim form and on inspection by FORUM as to the project's satisfactory completion to include:

  • Tax Affairs

    • Promoters up to €10,000 signed Tax Declaration Form

    • Contractors up to €10,000 Tax Clearance Certificate

    • Over €10,000 Tax Clearance Certificate

  • VAT Letter from Revenue Commissioners, if not registered for VAT.

  • Original receipted invoices

  • Current relevant insurance policy with indemnity.

  • Evidence of Compliance as appropriate, with the relevant national standards and regulations, e.g. Fire Safety Certificate.

  • Evidence of Payment (by promoter) All project expenditure should be made by cheque. Relevant bank statements and copies of cashed cheques will be required to verify all project expenditure.

  • Rural Development Programme promotion plaque in place

  • Capital / construction projects will require independent assessment of costs by an appropriately qualified person. The promoter will have to bear the cost of any such assessment

  • Bank details form

  • Certified contribution of voluntary labour and donations, if applicable
    Throughout the project life cycle a number of site visits will be conducted to document the progress of the project and provide ongoing support and mentoring to the project promoter.

Note: Further requirements may be specified depending on the project funded

Evaluation Criteria for LEADER Projects
The following criteria will be applied in assessing applications for grant aid;

  1. Eligibility Does the project comply with eligibility criteria as set out in the LEADER Operating Rules?

  2. Innovation Is there something new about the project in terms of the product or idea, the technology/production method, the market, the promoter, or the location?

  3. Additionality Projects will be initially examined to establish if they are more suitable for funding by other agencies or under other Programmes.

  4. Deadweight Does the project actually require LEADER funding to proceed?

  5. Displacement/Competition Will the project be in direct competition with an existing local business and could it result in displacement of jobs elsewhere?

  6. Promoter Backgrounds/Skills What is the promoter’s track record and have they the skills and experience necessary to make a success of the project?

  7. Market research Has the project been adequately researched? Has the need/market/demand for the project been firmly established?

  8. Marketing Plan Is there an adequate marketing or promotion plan in place for the project

  9. Financial Viability Can the project demonstrate its financial viability in the medium to long term?

  10. Sustainability Will the project be sustainable in the long-term?

  11. Job Creation Will the project result in job creation - full time, seasonal or part time? Or will existing jobs be sustained/secured by this new project?

  12. Impact/Benefits What benefit will the project have for the promoter, the wider community or the environment?

  13. Added Value Is there added value from the project for the overall development of FORUM’s area of operation?



FORUM Connemara Ltd; Reg. No 160282. Reg. Office: Letterfrack, Connemara,
Co. Galway, Ireland. Registered Chaitable staus No. CHY9925,