Bord na Móna’s new €1.5 million euro Mountlucas Centre, a fabulous building located in the heart of Mountlucas Wind farm, was officially opened this morning by Bord na Móna Chairman John Horgan and members of the local community.
Speaking today at the official opening, Mr. John Horgan, Chairman, Bord na Móna, said: “The new Mountlucas Centre will provide an improved experience for all visitors, schools and communities, helping everyone to enjoy the full extent of the Windfarm, both business and pleasure. This significant development that we are here to open today will, we believe, prove to be a unique and significant attraction for local, national and international visitors.”
He continued: “Bord na Móna has always been about community, both as a community of employees and a company rooted in our local communities. Amenity land, cycle and walkways and the cultivation of biodiversity provide tangible benefits to local communities, as evidenced throughout this Wind farm. The economic value of these and other eco-system services is increasingly being understood and accepted. In truth however it is difficult to place a euro value on these amenities that fully captures their real worth to the people who live near them and use them. As a company we provide these because we recognise the need to provide value beyond what we relate in our financial reports.”
The development of the new Mountlucas Centre represents another milestone for Bord na Móna’s flagship Mountlucas Wind farm. Costing €1.5million euro and delivered on time and under budget by Bord na Móna’s engineering department, the construction of the centre commenced in December 2015 and was completed in August 2016. This innovative building will be available for use to both Bord na Móna and the local communities in the area. In keeping with the sustainability agenda of Bord na Móna, the features of the Mountlucas Centre include a rainwater harvesting and reuse system, solar panels on the roof to provide hot water and the buildings electricity is sourced from a wind turbine directly adjacent to it.
Mr Horgan concluded: “Bord na Móna has a long history of supporting local community activities, whether that is through sponsorships of sporting, voluntary or cultural clubs or groups in this area. We recognise that we as a community have a range of needs, not just the economic, that enhance our lives. For a company like Bord na Móna we cannot be ‘of the community’ unless we engage at this other level as well. This doesn’t just make sense from a philosophical point of view, it makes sense from a business perspective as well. If we are to maintain the support of communities we must continue to engage with them in this way. The Community Gain Scheme in operation here is best in class and sees local people and communities themselves in charge of deciding what projects need assistance the most. I want to pay tribute to those that have been involved in this scheme since its formation, both the local people and team in Powergen responsible for its administration.”