29 groups and not-for-profit organisations receive funding through Celtic Interconnector Community Benefit Fund.
Monday, December 11 – EirGrid, the national electricity grid operator has awarded community groups and not-for-profit organisations near the Celtic Interconnector Project a total of €838,987, in the first of a three-phase community funding programme.
The funding associated with the sub-sea cable linking the electricity grids of Ireland and France, will see communities including Youghal, Killeagh, Castlemartyr, Carrigtwohill and Knockraha benefit. This is the first of three phases of funding available to communities in the project area with the total fund amounting to €2.4million.
This first phase of funding covers three activity streams, with €320,000 allocated through the community stream, €320,000 via the sustainability stream and €198,987 for projects covering biodiversity initiatives. €120,000 of available first phase funding under the biodiversity stream was unallocated due to a shortfall of biodiversity projects. As per the guidelines it will be carried over and allocated in the next funding round to support impactful community-based biodiversity project applications. EirGrid and the fund administrator SECAD will continue to build capacity in communities ahead of the next phase of benefit sharing which is due midway through construction of the project.
Speaking about the fund, which saw a majority of 29 successful applicants, EirGrid’s Head of Public Engagement, Sinead Dooley said: “This fund was established to empower communities in east Cork to build resilience and increase opportunities for meaningful community regeneration long after the Celtic Interconnector project is delivered.
We were delighted to see such interest in applications for this first phase of funding. We, along with SECAD, the fund administrator, will continue to work with community groups and not-for-profit organisations in east Cork to aid in capacity building ahead of future funding applications and to assist groups to maximise opportunities to access further funding.”
“This funding will help active community groups in continuing to expand their efforts, support the development of community spaces, and significantly improve the biodiversity of areas through sustainable initiatives.” added Dooley.
The Celtic Interconnector Community Benefit Fund was established by EirGrid to recognise the important part local communities play in the development of the electricity grid, the impact works can have on communities, and to ensure funds benefit groups and projects in these areas.
The Celtic Interconnector Community Benefit Fund will be released on a phased basis as the project progresses, with 40 per cent of the fund released to coincide with the commencement of construction, 30% midway through the project and a further 30% when the project is energised, becoming part of the electricity grid.
To see a list of applicants successful in this first phase of funding, or to learn more about the project, visit www.eirgrid.ie/CelticInterconnectorFund
For more information about the fund, contact SECAD Partnership CLG on 021 461 3432.