SECAD Partnership participates in a number of regional, national and EU wide networks. Our work with each these partners helps to shape strategy in terms of how funding is made available, accessed and utilised by local stakeholders, SECAD and our clients.

Some of these networks are also involved directly in the awarding of contracts and funds. Therefore, it is of enormous importance that SECAD Partnership is actively involved in these groups, to contribute to their knowledge of how funds are utilised and to advocate for future funding of local projects.

Local Community Development Committee (LCDC); South & West Cork

SECAD Partnership serves as a local community development representative on both the South Cork and West Cork Local Community Development Committees, established by Cork County Council under the Local Government Reform Act 2014. SECAD Partnership works closely with the LCDC members in both regions on strategic planning and coordinating local and community development activity including the six year Local Economic and Community Plans (LECP).

Click here for more information on LCDC

Irish Local Development Network (ILDN)

SECAD Partnership is an active member of the ILDN, a membership network of local development organisations throughout Ireland working towards community led local development across the country in both rural and urban settings.

Click here for more information on ILDN

European Rural Parliament (ERP)

SECAD Partnership participates in the European Rural Parliament which gathers rural representatives from across Europe. The parliament aims to strengthen the voice of rural communities in Europe and promote self-help and action by rural people, to ensure the interests and well-being of communities are strongly reflected in national and European policies.

Click here for more information on ERP

European LEADER Association for Rural Development (ELARD)

SECAD Partnership, through its membership of ILDN is involved in the European LEADER Association for Rural Development (ELARD). ELARD members are united under a common goal of ensuring a sustainable and viable rural Europe. ELARD advocates for a LEADER approach to good practice in local development, both at a local grassroots and at a European institution level.

Click here for more information on ELARD

The European Fisheries Areas Network (FARNET) and Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG)

FARNET network manages the implementation of Community-Led Local Development (CLLD) under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). This network brings together Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs), managing authorities, citizens and experts from across the EU.

CLLD funding is delegated to local partnerships that bring together the private sector, local authorities and civil society organisations. Known as Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs), these partnerships fund local projects, developed in response to specific needs and opportunities identified locally. SECAD Partnership is a member of the Cork FLAG and participates in their meetings to determine where investment is made over the coming years.

Click here for more information on FARNET

TELI2 – Transitional Education in LEADER Implementation

SECAD is a partner of the Transnational Education in LEADER Implementation (TELI2) project.
This European project seeks to research the most efficient models of LEADER implementation in partner countries.

The main result of the project will be the development of an accredited LEADER programme through Limerick Institute of Technology and University of Ljubljana which is aimed at LEADER professionals and policy makers. The programme will provide stakeholders with the knowledge and skills to implement more successful LEADER programmes and projects.

Additional objectives of the project are up-skilling LEADER delivery organisations through life-long learning; improving LEADER staff mobility and increasing the number of transnational projects which may arise from the creation of networks and relationships.

Click here for more information on TELI2

SECAD Partnership is a member of Euracademy Association, a multi-national, inter- disciplinary team of university teachers, researchers and consultants of rural development with a core aim of promoting capacity building in rural areas. Through SECAD Partnership’s hosting of the 16th Summer Academy in 2017 entitled “Resilient communities: pillars of sustainable rural development’’, Euracademy helped to mobilise communities and rural development leaders by offering them the opportunity to improve their skills and widen their experience at SECAD Partnership in Midleton, Co. Cork.

Click here for more information on Euracademy

LEADER Transnational Programme
SECAD Partnership is collaborating with the agri-tourism sector in Austria. The focus for a recent Austrian delegation visit to SECAD Partnership was also to encourage Austrian farmers to work with their local development groups and to encourage farmers to become sellers and not just producers of food. The exchange of information is mutually beneficial for SECAD and the visiting delegation. Further means to develop a more formal transnational exchange are currently being explored.

”From working closely with communities over the past twenty years, we have a wealth of knowledge and experience of community partners that our international can tap into.  Through study visits and joint collaborations, rural communities should be well placed into the future to influence the process of sustainable rural development at this crucial moment of substantial adjustment within the European Union.”

Ryan Howard

SECAD Partnership



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LEADER Food Initiative for Artisan, Micro and Small Food Producers

€15 million has been allocated nationally by the Dept of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Dept of Rural and Community Development to the LEADER Food Initiative (Rural Development Programme 2014-2020). Expressions of Interest and full applications are now being accepted.

This initiative aims to support new and existing food and beverage producers to address emerging challenges through investment in areas such as (1) market development, (2) competitiveness, and (3) innovation.

Support for food producers, may include, but is not limited to, the following:
• Artisan, Micro and Small food producers, including those with a focus on collaborative proposals, aimed at production quality and market issues;
• Regional product development, including a focus on marketing distinctive local foodstuffs;
• Marketing and processing for strategically identified sectors, including honey and apple processors;
• Improved marketing, product quality and business skills through support for innovative collaborative processes and so address challenges to co-operation identified in studies on facilitating short supply chains e.g. entry barriers, the need for shared understanding, skills/training, and marketing and business skills deficits.

How to apply
Applications are managed through the LEADER LAGs with applications being processed by the LEADER Implementing partners and recommendations made by the LCDC’s to the DAFM and DRCD. Qualifying projects seeking between €5,000 and €200,000 in grant aid are eligible to apply.

The Implementing Partner for LEADER / LEADER Food in South and West Cork is SECAD Partnership CLG.

For further Information and to make an Application


Ross Curley (West Cork based projects)


Katie Kearns (South Cork based food projects)

Contact SECAD on 021-4613432
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SECAD Partnership CLG
Midleton Community Enterprise Centre, Owennacurra Business Park,
Knockgriffin, Midleton, Co. Cork, P25 Y893

+353 21 4613432