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Local groups benefit from green tax scheme

01 June 2016

Organisations across the city have been reaping the benefits of a special scheme which has been assisting them in the delivery of a wide range of community environmental projects.

Groundwork N. Ireland works in conjunction with Derry City and Strabane District Council to deliver the Greencare North West Landfill Communities Fund Programme, managing landfill tax credits derived from the Council area.

The money which stems from the credits is channeled into a range of carefully selected schemes which regenerate and support the environment. All projects must be local and up to £10,000 can be awarded to individual schemes which are geared towards improving public areas and promoting biodiversity.

This year Liberty Consortium, Creggan Country Park, Bay Road Residents Group, Bogside & Brandywell Initiative, Lough’s Agency and Clooney Residents Association have all been successful in securing funding with the money going towards a diverse range of sustainable environmental projects.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Elisha McCallion, praised the work of the Groundwork NI organisation and the innovative approaches being taken by local groups in tackling environmental issue in their area. “I want to congratulate Groundwork NI on their valuable work in preserving and enhancing the natural environment. I think there is widespread recognition of the fact that we all need to take a more proactive role in addressing environmental concerns, and the landfill tax credits go some way towards delivering on this.

“A number of community groups are already seeing the benefits in their areas and I want to encourage other local organisations to follow suit and put forward their own proposals based on their specific needs.”

Among the many projects to benefit to date are Clooney Estate Residents Association, who have been allocated £10,000 to deliver the Clooney Community Growing Space project. The association has created community allotments on a green space within the estate which was previously used as a bonfire site, turning it into a valuable shared space for the entire community. Additionally, the group hopes to provide educational workshops at the community centre promoting local biodiversity. 

The Loughs Agency have also benefitted from £10,000 which will be channeled into the Foyle Wetlands Centre, while almost £10,000 donated to the Bogside and Brandywell Initiative will go towards the creation of the Ballymagowan Environmental HUB.

These are just a few examples of the ongoing environmental work within the community. Groundwork NI has had an arrangement with Derry City Council to manage landfill tax credits derived from the Derry City Council area since 2004. Council has provided 10% of this funding by acting as the 10% Third Party Contributor which allows landfill tax credits generated through commercial waste going to RiverRidge site, to be accessed for Greencare NW Programme.

Senior Project Development Officer with Groundwork Melvyn Waddell said they were delighted at the range of projects which are transforming local communities. “Every year we are impressed by the standard of the applications for creative new projects geared towards tackling environmental issues within the community.

“The six successful candidates have all identified sustainable and innovative ways to promote environmental regeneration and biodiversity enhancements in their areas and these projects will have a positive impact for the whole community.”

 For more information on Groundwork NI and to find out how your community could benefit, please go to www.groundwork.org.uk

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