Dungiven group has been awarded a £10,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund’s ‘Awards for All’ programme that will help fund an environmental project.
Glenshane Community Development Limited, which provides support services to the Dungiven community, say they will use the grant to install solar panels on the roof of their premises to “allow them to generate electricity in a more environmentally friendly way”.
The group, which has two sites in Dungiven - Glenshane Enterprise Centre, Ballyquin Road and Glenshane Business Park, Legavallon Road - also believes it will help them be more sustainable.
“By providing cheaper electricity, we hope to sustain the small businesses based in our Enterprise Centre which will provide jobs that bring people together and increase community activity as they work alongside and converse with members of the wider community,” explained Glenshane Community Development manager, Mairead McCormack Kelly. “Having looked into alternative energies, we identified the potential savings which can be made through solar power that can be passed onto our tenants, and which will generate a small income for Glenshane Community Development through administration to subsidise our courses and Advice Centre”.
Ms Kelly said the idea is the project will support local employment.
“This project will provide more environmentally friendly generation of electricity than coal/oil fired production , as well as providing an income stream to Glenshane Community Development Limited, which will sell the electricity on to our tenants who can purchase cheaper electricity,” said Ms McCormack Kelly.
“We hope that this project will facilitate the retention of jobs locally, creation of new jobs and subsidise our community activities and Advice Service so as to enable those who engage with our services to participate more fully within the community.”
Ms McCormack Kelly added: “This should promote further social inclusion and inspire people to become more involved in their community and the wider society.”
Joanne McDowell, Big Lottery Fund NI Director, said The Big Lottery Fund’s NI Awards for All programme funds health, education, environment and community projects that “help people ring about positive change in their lives, improve health and well-being, develop skills and create safer communities”.
GDC is one of 82 groups across Northern Ireland to benefit in the grants roll out.