Environment Minister Mark H Durkan today announced that 33 community groups will share £211,549 from the DOE’s Challenge Fund for environmental projects.
In June the Minister invited community groups and schools to apply for funding for projects which would give their local environment a boost.
The Challenge Fund still remains open for schools. The closing date for schools to apply is 25 September 2015.
The projects cover every aspect of the environment from red squirrel and pine marten protection in Newry, beach cleans in Kilkeel to river restoration in Fermanagh and community allotments and woodland management in Derry.
Announcing the successful applicants at a scheme in Derry which has benefitted from Challenge Funding, Mark H Durkan said: “It is heart warming to see so many people in our community coming together to produce innovative schemes to enhance their local environment. I commend them for it. It is fitting that 33 community group projects will get a leg up from Government. I pledged that money raised from our 5p levy on carrier bags would be ploughed back into the environment . The Challenge Fund is one way of doing that.
“This project I am visiting today, the Built Heritage Architectural Project, which celebrates and promotes access to our rich architectural heritage in Derry, is a great example of the Challenge Fund at work and will help educate and inform many future generations about Derry’s historic buildings. People from the community, working freely for the benefit of the community. That is what Challenge Fund is all about.”
Referring specifically to funding available for schools, the Minister continued: “It is important that young people in particular have the chance to see their creative ideas for enhancing our environment become reality. Part of the Challenge Fund is allocated only to schools. The closing date for applications from schools is 25 September 2015. I encourage schools to get their entries in if they haven’t already done so.”