Announcing the launch of EirGrid's Celtic Interconnector Community Benefit Fund were Michelle Walsh, Community Liaison Officer Celtic Interconnector; Suzanne Kearney, Assistant CEO and Programme Manager, SECAD Partnership CLG and Sinead Dooley, Head of Public Engagement, EirGrid. Pic. John Allen/Provision

EirGrid Opens First Phase of Celtic Interconnector Community Benefit Fund

29 June 2023

EirGrid has opened the first phase of the Celtic Interconnector Community Benefit Fund, with an initial €960,000 available for eligible community and voluntary groups to apply for.

This €960,000 fund represents 40 percent of the overall €2.4m fund. It opened at midday today.

The Celtic Interconnector Community Benefit Fund was established by EirGrid to recognise the importance of local communities who facilitate the development of the electricity grid and will benefit groups and projects in the east Cork area.

The Celtic Interconnector, a 575km subsea link between Ireland and France, will enable the movement of electricity between the two countries, making our electricity supply more secure.

It can transport 700MW of electricity, enough to power over 450,000 homes.

The community benefit fund is open to community groups, not-for-profit organisations and social enterprises who can demonstrate the benefits to communities from the services, programmes or facilities they provide in the project area.

Speaking about the fund opening, EirGrid head of public engagement Sinead Dooley said: “The opening of this fund marks the beginning of an exciting chapter for EirGrid and communities in east Cork. The fund was established to recognise the importance of local communities working alongside us in making the Celtic Interconnector a reality, ensuring east Cork, the wider region and Ireland can continue to prosper and grow. 

“We understand the incredible work being done by voluntary groups and organisations and now this is a chance for them to continue the important work they do to deliver on projects and initiatives which strengthen opportunities and address challenges across the three funding streams: community, sustainability and biodiversity.”

Ms Dooley added: “With funding bands ranging from €500 up to a maximum of €125,000 per project, the opportunities for communities to create a brighter future are vast and varied.

“The fund was designed in close collaboration with communities to ensure it can best match their particular needs and I would encourage groups to work together where there is potential for collaborative projects which will have a larger impact and lasting benefit to their community and neighbours.

“We recognise that it is the summer season for community and voluntary organisations, and to support them we have extended the applications’ window to provide more time for them to apply.”

To ensure decisions on how the funds are distributed are made in a transparent, participatory and inclusive manner, a fund support and administration service has been set up and is being operated by SECAD Partnership CLG, based in east Cork.

An online information session (virtual via Zoom) on the fund will be facilitated by SECAD Partnership CLG and takes place on Thursday, 6 July at 6.30pm, with one-to-one clinics also taking place on the below dates:

Wednesday, 12 July

Monday, 19 July

Wednesday, 23 August

Wednesday, 30 August

Email to book a session.

You can read more about the fund on our dedicated page here.