£300,000 Challenge Fund launched

SHADE. Minister Mark Durkin with Ivy Morrow and Janet Schofield at Can Can.INBM24-15 008SC.
SHADE. Minister Mark Durkin with Ivy Morrow and Janet Schofield at Can Can.INBM24-15 008SC.

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan was in Ballymoney recently to launch a £300,000 funding boost for local community environment projects.

The 2015-16 Challenge Fund is now open for applications from community groups and schools from across the North. There are two categories, Community Action and Environmental Education.

The announcement follows the recent launch of the Natural Environment Fund, which seeks to support environmental NGOs in tackling Northern Ireland’s most acute environmental priorities.

In launching the scheme at Compass Advocacy Network’s “Scrapheap Community Challenge” project site in Ballymoney, which received Challenge funding last year, Mark H Durkan said: “This is a great opportunity to support the tireless legions of grass roots organisations and schools who are passionate about improving their own environment. I have seen at first hand the value of the work carried out by these groups. I have been highly impressed by the levels of partnership working and volunteer enthusiasm. I commend them for this work.

“Scrapheap Community Challenge is an innovative and imaginative project that clearly shows how the carrier bag levy monies is benefiting some of the most vulnerable in our society. At the same time it is helping foster and cement working relationships, dispel prejudices and benefitting the local community and environment.

“Challenge Fund projects over the past two years have also delivered excellent social benefits. That is why, we are particularly welcoming proposals seeking to help our society’s most vulnerable groups.” Further information www.doeni.gov.uk/niea/funding.htm