Cloncreen wind farm, pictured in 2022, during construction.

Cloncreen wind farm community benefit fund opens for 2024

Bord na Móna has announced the opening of the 2024 Community Benefit Fund for communities located near its Cloncreen Wind Farm.

The fund will distribute €150,000 in 2024 to community and voluntary groups, non-profit groups, clubs and societies, or organisations with a charitable status towards community-based projects and initiatives that support the delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The fund is administered by M-CO, an independent strategic design and project management company which specialises in the areas of climate action and community development.

The first year of funding, which was launched in 2023, awarded €150,000, to 23 local groups and clubs across areas adjacent to the wind farm including Clonbullogue, Ballyfore, Edenderry, and Bracknagh. These grants enabled the delivery of a broad range of projects in 2023 including youth facilities, music programmes, biodiversity projects, defibrillators, heritage activities, sports facilities and more.

The fund has been established to recognise the key role of local communities in developing new sources of renewable energy. Over a 15-year period the broader Cloncreen Wind Farm Community Benefit Package will distribute circa €5 million to the local area.

Making the announcement on behalf of Bord na Móna, Renewable Energy Operations Manager Tom Egan stated: "Bord na Móna is delighted to have supported such a broad range of inspiring community projects last year through our Cloncreen Wind Farm Fund. With funding committed for a 15-year period, until 2038, there is an opportunity for transformative projects to be delivered in the area. We are really looking forward to continuing to work with local communities and are eager to hear from anyone with ideas for projects which will benefit the nearby communities.”

Marion Weymes, Community Benefit Fund Administrator on behalf of M-CO stated “The projects that have been delivered over the first year of the Fund are a real testament to the community leaders and volunteers in the area. For the next round of funding, we hope to hear from groups who have new ideas as well as groups who want to build on what they have already achieved.

"We encourage anyone with a project idea to apply, and we will be available to help groups to develop their ideas and through the application process.”

Applicants can learn more about the fund and how to apply by attending an information session on:

· Wednesday, March 13, in Clonbullogue Hall from 7pm to 8.30pm.

· Wednesday, March 20, in Edenderry GAA Centre from 7pm to 8.30 pm.

For further details on how to register your attendance at either information session can be found here

Details are here on the fund and how to apply