West Cork groups encouraged to apply for environmental grants

Cork-based Fine Gael Senator, Tim Lombard, has encouraged local groups to apply for newly available environmental funding to help improve communities across Ireland.

The Government has this week announced a large increase to the Local Agenda 21 (LA21) Environmental Partnership Fund. Up to €460,000 is now available to be drawn down from this year’s scheme, an increase of 15% on 2016 funding.

The fund has operated since 1997 and supports local environmental projects implemented by communities, individuals and not-for-profit groups. It is designed to support local communities to improve the environment in their own local areas and its wider remit is to continue the fight back against global warming.

This increase in funding is great news for groups here in Cork, where we have many such hardworking groups and projects. We know that local initiatives can make a real difference in our communities; small changes can make lasting improvements to our environment.

To that end, the fund supports small scale non-profit environmental projects such as allotments, community gardens, compost schemes, rainwater harvesting schemes, educational initiatives and environmental exhibitions.

Eligible projects include those that will support and complement, at a local level, national environmental policies such as those on Waste, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Air, Water and Sustainable Development.

Over 700 projects were funded through this scheme nationally last year and with the increase in funding, it is now possible to increase the value of awards going to local groups here Cork. Funding is provided by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and is matched by Cork County Council, while projects can also attract funding from other sources.

As a member of the Communications, Climate Action and the Environment committee I strongly encourage local groups here in Cork to apply for this funding. If any assistance is needed please do not hesitate to contact my office, this is an important initiative we should take advantage of. Completed application forms should be returned to Cork County Council office by 5pm, 23 June 2017. Application forms and further information can be found at www.dccae.gov.ie, or by phoning the Council on (021) 4276891.”

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