SSE Airtricity, Northern Ireland’s leading renewable energy provider, has presented over £60,000 to 25 community groups near the Bessy Bell, Bin Mountain and Tappaghan Wind Farms in Counties Tyrone and Fermanagh.
Through its Community Fund programme, SSE Airtricity makes annual contributions to community groups located close to its wind farms. SSE Airtricity sold the Bin Mountain and Tappaghan Wind Farms in 2012, however, the company is still proud to operate the Community Fund on behalf of the owners, Greencoat UK Wind.
This year’s presentation took place in the Silver Birch Hotel in Omagh, and brings the overall contribution to local groups through the Bin Mountain, Tappaghan and Bessy Bell Community Funds to more than £590,000 since 2006.
This year, 25 local groups received funding, including schools, sports clubs and community associations.
Derry & Raphoe Action is one of three groups putting the funding towards repair works following the recent flood damage in Newtownstewart, Co. Tyrone. The group is aiming to get the Somme Memorial Hall back up and running for the local community.
Irene Spratt, Secretary of Derry & Raphoe Action, said: “The Somme Memorial Hall is a great facility for local people, providing a safe environment for a variety of community activities. We’re aiming to use the funding from SSE Airtricity to help get the hall back up and running, and make it safer and more comfortable than ever before.”
Ederney St. Josephs GAA will using this year’s contribution to fit new energy-efficient windows at their clubhouse.
Francis Gormley, Secretary at Ederney St. Josephs GAA, said: “Everyone involved with Ederney St. Josephs GAA is delighted with the funding we’ve received through SSE Airtricity’s Community Fund. This financial support means we can fit new energy-efficient windows at the complex, which will improve our energy rating and reduce our bills!”
Other projects being supported range from fitting energy-efficient blinds at Scraghey and District Community Development Association’s centre, to storm-glazing stained-glass windows at Colaghty Parish Church, to installing energy-efficient lighting at Mountjoy United Football Club.
Anne Reynolds, SSE Airtricity Community Development Officer, commented: “We’re delighted to be presenting over £60,000 to 25 forward-thinking and important community projects this year. As always, it’s great to see so much of the money going towards improvements in energy efficiency, which is a fantastic way to secure long-term benefit for the community.”
SSE Airtricity’s Bessy Bell Wind Farm and Greencoat UK Wind’s Bin Mountain and Tappaghan Wind Farms can generate 51.5MW of clean, green energy combined.