A significant aspect of the company’s current community support is the Community Gain Funds. These schemes were established in collaboration with adjacent communities to our business developments, such as the Drehid Waste Management facility, and the Mountlucas and Bruckana wind farms.
The funds provide support to local clubs and societies, and could not have been established without the help and cooperation of the community around the developments. Local clubs, associations and other community groups apply for funding to help with various community based initiatives and improvement projects.
The Drehid Community Gain Fund arose from the development of the Drehid Waste Management Facility by Bord na Móna in 2008. The purpose of the fund, and the associated grant scheme, is to identify and contribute towards the cost of the provision of appropriate environmental improvement and recreational or community amenities, facilities and projects in the locality which will mitigate the impact of the landfill facility on the local community in accordance with Government policy.
Since 2009, over 300 grants with a total value of approximately two million euro have been awarded to a variety of applicants in the general vicinity of the facility, including community groups, residents associations, youth and scout groups, sporting organisations, charities, tidy town committees, schools, environmental and heritage groups, etc.
The grant scheme is administered by Kildare County Council, and a community liaison committee assess the grant applications and makes recommendations in respect of funding. The committee comprises equal representation from the local elected representatives, the local authority, Bord na Móna and the local community.
Bord na Móna set up two wind farm related community gain schemes in 2014 thanks to the help and cooperation of the communities local to its Mountlucas and Bruckana wind farms.
An annual fund, based on the installed capacity of each wind farm, is established and applications are sought from clubs, associations, and other such groups in the locality for support for various community-based initiatives and improvement projects. The combined funds amount to €125,000 per annum.
Bord na Móna administers each scheme and an awards committee is drawn from the local communities. This committee decides which projects are granted financial support. The funding has benefited schools, sports clubs, general amenity, social initiatives, as well as community facilities. Specific examples include Mount Lucas Community Development Group and the hand-ball alley in Walsh Island.
Surrounded by the Bog of Allen, Daingean has a long association with Bord na Móna. Today, it is just one of many towns to benefit from Bord na Móna’s Mountlucas Community Gain Scheme.
Bord na Móna’s support has seen a significant improvement in the road infrastructure through the Co. Offaly town. “Our flagship projects are the Community Centre, the Town Hall, and part of the GAA facilities,” said community activist Deloreen Brereton. Work is being done on the courthouse which is attached to the Town Hall. “There is a lot of history associated with this as it was designed by James Gandon, who also designed the Four Courts in Dublin,” said Deloreen.
Other examples include fixed windows in the town’s old school, assistance towards an astro turf covering in the playschool’s playground, a subsidised music programme in the primary school, funding for the local women’s group, a grant to buy a timing clock for the senior athletics club, and a grant towards the purchase of indoor bikes for the cycling club.