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Funding and Schemes


Basic Payment Scheme

Under the Direct Payments system, eligible applicants receive a payment under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and Greening. It is a requirement that all BPS applications must be submitted online from 2018 onwards, so ensure if eligible for BPS that you are registered for online application.

Under the Direct Payment system a farmer’s payment can be a combination of payments under four separate schemes.

  • Basic Payment Scheme (BPS)
  • Payment for Agricultural Practices beneficial for the Climate and the Environment (Greening Payment)
  • Young Farmers Scheme (YFS)
  • Aid for Protein Crops

More information

Cross Compliance

To receive a payment under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) you must follow a variety of regulations on the environment, climate change, good agricultural condition of land, public, animal, plant health and animal welfare.  This system is known as Cross Compliance. More information

Areas of natural constraint (ANC)

These are areas designated as disadvantaged.  Horse breeding enterprises and donkeys are considered for stocking density eligibility subject to conditions.

Application for ANC is through the Basic Payment Scheme. Terms and Conditions (PDF)


LEADER Funding

LEADER is an EU funded programme to support activities to improve the quality of life in rural areas and to diversify the rural economy. The programme has been delivered in a number of different stages since 1991 and in its current incarnation as part of the Rural Development Programme it is delivered by a network of Local Development Companies throughout Ireland.

List of Local Development Companies and contact details are available here: Local Development Network Members 

LEADER exists as part of the Rural Development Programme and the supports on offer from Local Development Companies delivering the programme range from advice, training, mentoring and support to develop a business plan to the allocation of capital funding.

The LEADER programme for 2014-2020 has identified a number of strategic priorities for EU rural development. LEADER is included under priority 6 of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 (RDP): "promoting social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas." In Ireland, the overall LEADER budget is €250m (7% of the RDP).

The RDP outlines a series of themes that were identified as overarching needs in rural Ireland. To facilitate a more effective targeting of resources, these priorities were identified through consultation and research. LEADER has three RDP themes and nine sub-themes as follows:

Theme 1

Theme 2

Theme 3

Economic Development, Enterprise Development
and Job Creation

Social Inclusion

Rural Environment

  • Rural Tourism
  • Enterprise Development
  • Rural Towns
  • Broadband
  • Basic Services targeted at hard to reach communities
  • Rural Youth
  • Protection and sustainable use of water resources
  • Local Biodiversity
  • Renewable energy

More information on LEADER 2014-2020