EirGrid, the operator of the national electricity grid, is today launching a major new fund for community groups in North Kerry.
The €70,500 Knockanure Duagh Community Fund has been established by EirGrid to benefit communities close to new infrastructure that it has developed in the area. The company recently completed a project in Kilmorna, North Kerry comprising a new electricity substation and overhead lines.
Speaking at the launch in Knockanure, Derval O’Brien, EirGrid corporate and social responsibility programme manager, said: “The community fund recognises the importance of local communities who support our work. We are looking for applications from not-for-profit or voluntary groups with charitable aims.”
In 2012, the Government recommended that EirGrid should provide a direct benefit to surrounding communities when it builds new, overhead electricity transmission infrastructure. EirGrid has adopted this recommendation.
The new infrastructure is situated to the east of Listowel. It has been developed to facilitate the transfer of significant amounts of renewable energy generated in Kerry. It will also be the southern end point for the Kilpaddoge Knockanure electricity cable project currently under construction.
Cathaoirleach of the Listowel Municipal District, Cllr John Lucid said: “Kerry County Council has invested significantly in this area through the Community Support Fund and other supports, and this announcement of the EirGrid Community Fund will further enhance local communities.
“The funding is most welcome and will undoubtedly have a huge impact for the communities of Knockanure and Duagh. The level of investment at € 70,500 is substantial and I have no doubt local organisations will be submitting many worthwhile proposals.”
The geographic boundary of the fund is a 3.5 kilometre radius from the new substation and incorporates the villages of Duagh and Knockanure. All Public Participation Network (PPN) registered community groups within the fund radius are encouraged to apply.
EirGrid seeks projects that demonstrate broad community benefit, with a particular focus on community educational initiatives and the provision or enhancement of community infrastructure and amenities
It will be administered in partnership with Kerry County Council and the closing date for applications is 8 May 2018.