EirGrid to Donate €25,000 to Amphitheatre in Lanesborough

10 July 2020

EirGrid, the company that runs the national electricity grid, is donating €25,000 towards the development of an amphitheatre in Lanesborough, County Longford.

Situated at a disused quarry outside the town, the open-air venue will be used for entertainment, performances, exhibitions and sporting events.

The donation follows a decision by Longford County Council in May to grant planning permission for EirGrid to build a new electricity substation in Lanesborough.

The development will replace an old substation dating back to the 1950s. It will be constructed on lands adjacent to Lough Ree Power Station in the town, with work expected to begin next year.

Mark Foley, EirGrid chief executive, said: “We appreciate the support of the people Longford and Roscomon and are delighted to support this important local cultural initiative. We have liaised closely with the local community group Lough Ree Community Resources on this initiative and look forward to seeing it come to fruition.”

Separate to this, EirGrid will also introduce a €15,000 community fund for local groups close to the new substation in Longford and Roscommon.

"The authentic atmosphere of an open-air theatre with the already attractive Lanesborough landscape will be a huge asset to the Midlands"

The new amphitheatre will seat 200 visitors on stone benches, while the surrounding concrete area could accommodate another 300 people. The rock formation would naturally amplify and echo sound, making it ideal for musical and theatrical performances. 

It is surrounded by woodland that is already a designated walking area with paths which are very popular with families, joggers and walkers. There is also ample parking on the route to the planned theatre. 

It has been agreed by Lough Ree Community Resources and Longford County Council to name the development EirGrid Park. 

Mark Casey from the community group commented: “We are delighted with the support we are receiving from EirGrid. The authentic atmosphere of an open-air theatre with the already attractive Lanesborough landscape will be a huge asset to the Midlands.  The quarry itself where the amphitheatre will be located is already a stone paradise with groups meeting regularly for walks, runs and aerobic exercise, we already had open air concerts in this area.”

This community project will be maintained by the local community and Longford County Council with the cooperation of the local FAS team who work with the Tidy Towns Committee and local groups. 

About the EirGrid Lanesborough Substation Scheme

This development is an important piece of national infrastructure. The old substation dates back to the 1950s and, connects Lough Ree Power Station to the national electricity grid. It also supplies the local electricity network that brings power to homes and businesses throughout Longford and Roscommon.

It is an important node on the national electricity grid and is essential to the movement of energy across the island of Ireland.

Redevelopment of the station is needed for a number of reasons:

  • Equipment in the substation is nearing the end of its life, and is in need of upgrading to ensure a safe and secure supply of electricity for existing customers across Longford and Roscommon and ensure access to secure electricity supplies for new customers.
  • Substations are normally designed with some level of spare capacity to enable important maintenance activities, and facilitate new connections. The substation currently does not allow for this. The proposed new development will meet immediate needs while also providing some reserve capacity.
  • The new substation will play an important role in helping Ireland reach its renewable energy targets. Significant amounts of renewable electricity is due to connect in the west and north west of Ireland over the coming years. This will increase power flows on the network from west to east, exceeding the current capability of the old Lanesborough substation.

Read more about the project here.